Axel Díaz Berazadi
at his sandwich store in Zarautz, Basque Country.
Axel can only be described as a shining light. Everything he does is infused with a positive outlook. That same energy radiates from his sandwich store or 'bocatería' called San Francisco 33. Located in Zarautz, a coastal town not far from San Sebatian, in Guipuzkoa, and just a few steps away from the beach, where strong breaking waves taught him how to surf as a child. Zarautz is a surfer’s paradise, and used to host the World Qualifying Surf Series every September. I met Axel though friends who spend every summer there and have a strong connection to this idyllic beach. San Francisco 33 is situated in a beautiful area of the Basque Country, where green hills slope elegantly down into the water below.
Axel recently opened his business that delivers healthy baguettes directly to your beach spot, without needing to get off your towel. Now, isn't that a great idea? Indeed it is, and furthermore, in the creation of the menu, he has sought the collaboration of friends and internationally acclaimed chefs from the area, from David de Jorge, to Martín Berasategui, Eneko Arguiñano, and Juan María Arzak, who add layers of delicious tastes by using both fresh and local natural products. The ingredients in his sandwiches range from 'ventresca' the most tender part of tuna, to wild boar head, Ibérico ham, green chillies, chives, and many more mouth watering condiments, making the tastes quote sophisticated for this unpretentious but charming venture.
This entrepreneurial surfer has kept his priorities clear; he enjoys his life, because he can be close to his passion, the water. His business is open from early spring to late summer, so he can also feed his wanderlust travelling abroad, while on the side, along with his brother Pablo, he is also involved in teaching and supplying gear through their surf school, Good People.
I haven't seen Axel in some time, but the genuine smile he gives me as I approach his 'bocateria' is so welcoming. I know he recognizes me immediately, even though we have probably aged more than 10 years since we last saw each other. He is one seasoned soul, who exudes such a calm and confident manner. While I'm there, he lends our friend Sol his little vintage car for her wedding, and it's so endearing to see the newlywed drive off on Axel's sweet ride.
Additional photography by Axel.