A Taste of the Dream
Inside Nitin Bakery, the medley of sights, smells and tastes are a palatable representation of both its employees and the diverse crowd of regulars that walk through the doors every morning. Spongy Tres Leches from Nicaragua, buttery facturas from Argentina: there’s a dessert for every customer in the multicultural city of Miami. The bakery was started nearly 10 years ago by Tania and her husband Gabriel. Tania had been working for the state of Florida at a job she enjoyed, but she had been set on another dream ever since arriving to the U.S. from Cuba. “It’s my dream to have my own business, my own schedule, and to decide my life for myself.” Tania also wanted to find a way to impact her community more directly and to support Gabriel’s culinary passion. When the bakery Gabriel worked at went bankrupt and the space went up for sale, Tania and Gabriel knew this was an opportunity they had to take.
A Growing Family
“When your business grows and you feel confident in its success, you want to start helping others too.” A former social worker, it has always been in Tania’s nature to help others. Located in a low-income neighborhood, the bakery raffles off free cakes and turkeys for holidays and offers items at a 50% discount in the evenings. In addition, almost all of Tania’s employees were hired with no prior professional experience. “I know how hard finding your first job can be.” Tania now manages and mentors a staff of 16, all of whom are immigrants. “My employees and I are like a family. They come from all over the world. Having their own business is their dream as well, and I’m able to show them how to do it.”
A New Start
In 2015, Tania and Gabriel learned the property housing their bakery was being sold and that they had two months to vacate. After being referred by their banker at JPMorgan Chase for their first loan from Accion in 2012, they turned to Accion again for financial support during the challenging transition. With the 7a SBA Community Advantage loan they received, they were able to renovate a new space within the short time. “Accion believed in us and gave us the opportunity grow. We now have more space, more people, and more energy.”
Along with her employees, Tania mentors her own family. Both her son and her daughter work at the bakery, which Tania hopes will instill valuable life lessons. “I want to show them that they have to work hard, but that their dreams can be accomplished.” As the bakery continues to thrive, Tania and Gabriel are now renovating the adjacent space for an Uruguayan restaurant. With her community always in mind, Tania plans to hire as many local residents for the restaurant as she can. “When you have a business, it’s not only about you, it’s about the people working for you.”