RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s not every day you receive a personal visit from the Vice President of the United States.
That’s exactly what a Latina-owned bakery in East Raleigh experienced Monday afternoon when Vice President Kamala Harris stepped through their doors.
Harris, who was in Raleigh to discuss efforts to support local businesses, entered Panaderia Artesanal, talked with employees, and filled a tray of bakery items. Harris was part of a panel at the Duke Energy Center on Monday and primarily focused on challenges for the Latino community.
“I was very nervous, very proud to have her here,” said Astrid Sabillon who shook hands with the Vice President. Sabillon, whose mother owns the bakery, said her mom, Jessicka Barahona has poured her heart and soul into the business. Sabillon said, “My mom has worked very hard on the business. It’s been eight very long years– she’s put in so much time and effort. To have someone so big, so important come to our business… it just meant a lot to us.”
Sabillon, who helped translate during an interview with CBS17 News, said her mom started the business near New Hope and Capitol Boulevard nearly eight years ago with the help of a loan. She said, “My mom is from Honduras and my dad is from Mexico. And that is where the tradition of making bread comes from.”
When it comes to business, Sabillon said it wasn’t always easy for her mom. Sabillon said Barahona has devoted her time and commitment to the business– staying open seven days a week from 7am to 10pm.
“She’s really happy that it’s gotten as far as it has because if you start something, you never really know if it’s going to take off or not,” said Sabillon.
Barahona said business started out slow and gradually her customers continued to build. The bakery now faces challenges due to higher costs of items due to inflation. She said egg prices have increased- they use eggs in all their bakery items. Barahona said it’s resulted in increasing her own prices, but fortunately not by much. Sabillon said, “It has been a little more expensive, but fortunately we have enough clients that come in that it kind of balances itself out.”
The family said they are excited to see the Vice President’s support and believe the publicity from the Monday visit has already helped them gain a few additional customers. Sabillon said, “It just meant a lot to us that she took time and effort to come.”