My Economy

Lists of Black-owned restaurants are circulating. Here’s what that means for one baker.

Andie Corban Jun 16, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace
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Rita Magalde, owner of Sheer Ambrosia, a baklava bakery in Draper, Utah. Carlos Linares/Photo Courtesy of Rita Magalde
My Economy

Lists of Black-owned restaurants are circulating. Here’s what that means for one baker.

Andie Corban Jun 16, 2020
Rita Magalde, owner of Sheer Ambrosia, a baklava bakery in Draper, Utah. Carlos Linares/Photo Courtesy of Rita Magalde
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As protests over police killings continue, many people are looking for more ways to support the Black community. From Los Angeles to Indianapolis to Brooklyn, lists are circulating with Black-owned restaurants people can support.

Rita Magalde owns Sheer Ambrosia, a baklava business in Draper, Utah. Restaurant closures because of the pandemic dried up her business, forcing her to get another job to make ends meet. She was working when her company’s Instagram was suddenly inundated with followers who found her through a list of Black-owned businesses in Utah.

“My first thought was, is this charity?” Magalde said. “Do I want people to buy from me for the sole reason that I’m Black? No, I want them to buy my product because it’s good.”

After a day spent driving all over the Salt Lake Valley delivering baklava to new customers, Magalde didn’t feel like it was charity.

“They want to support Black members of the community, and what better way to do that than to support their businesses?” Magalde said.

Rita Magalde, owner of Sheer Ambrosia, arranges baklava on a tray.
Rita Magalde arranging baklava.

“If this business continues, one day soon I’ll be able to be a homeowner again,” Magalde said. “Homeownership is huge when it comes to wealth, and one of the main ways to close the wealth gap between Blacks and whites is homeownership.” Magalde sold her house in 2018 to build her business and send one of her children to college debt-free. She said it was “one of the most depressing times” of her life.

“I feel like a miracle has happened,” she said. “Three months ago, I would have never in a million years guessed that my business would be doing how it is now.”


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