My Economy

“It’s night and day from where it was at the beginning of COVID” for one Black-owned business

Andie Corban Sep 30, 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

“It’s night and day from where it was at the beginning of COVID” for one Black-owned business

Andie Corban Sep 30, 2020
Rita Magalde, owner of Sheer Ambrosia, a baklava bakery in Draper, Utah. Carlos Linares/Photo Courtesy of Rita Magalde
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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Back in June, Rita Magalde of Draper, Utah, was shocked when her business’s Instagram suddenly started gaining dozens of followers. As people were protesting racial injustice across the country, many were also mobilizing to support Black-owned businesses. Magalde’s bakery Sheer Ambrosia, which specializes in baklava, was included in a list of Black-owned businesses in Utah.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Magalde went into “panic mode” as restaurants cancelled their orders and business dried up. She even got another job to make ends meet. But as people sought out Black-owned businesses at the start of the summer, Sheer Ambrosia started getting orders again. Magalde called it “a miracle.” We called her up to see if business has kept up, nearly four months after the list circulated.

“My business is amazing,” Magalde said. “It’s night and day from where it was at the beginning of COVID.”

Many of the new people who found her through the list of Black-owned businesses have become repeat customers.

“It’s one thing for a person to purchase from me one time; it’s another thing for them to become a client for life,” Magalde said. “It’s up to me to make sure that they love my products and service enough they’ll want to come back for more, so I took it as a challenge.”

Magalde used some of her financial success to hire a food photographer to take photos of her baklava, something she’s wanted to do for years but couldn’t afford.

“I have 12 flavors and there are 12 months of the year,” Magalde said. “So I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, how awesome would that be if I can turn these photographs into something more useful than just photographs themselves? Let’s create a calendar.'”

She’s calling the calendar money her “house fund,” and hopes the extra business will help her buy a house when her lease is up next June.

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