Alina Cardenas, owner of Proust Bakery
The South Valley BusinessSource Center helped pastry chef and baker Alina Cardenas launch Proust Bakery in April 2020, which has successfully secured wholesale accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would absolutely recommend the BusinessSource Centers to other businesses,” she said. “Whether you are wondering where to start, or if you have already been established, I think everyone could benefit from this wonderful community resource.”

Helping Small Businesses Survive COVID-19

Inspired by an early love of cooking, Alina joined the food industry where she developed her culinary skills as a caterer, then as a pastry cook for top chefs in Los Angeles. As she gained more experience and became more creative with her recipes, her desire to start her own bakery grew. That is when she decided to visit the South Valley BusinessSource Center where she paired up with Business Coach Luis Luna to launch her new business.

“I went to the South Valley BusinessSource Center before I knew all the steps, I needed to take to start my own business,” she said. “I was completely overwhelmed! I had a lot of questions and a lot to learn in general. Without him, I surely wouldn't be where I am today. I couldn't have hoped for a better place to go for everything I needed.”

Alina first came to the South Valley BusinessSource Center in October 2019, where she participated in the How to Start a Business Workshop. The South Valley BusinessSource Center provided Alina extensive business coaching, including financial guidance, to get her business up and running. With their help, Alina obtained the necessary licenses and permits needed to open her business Proust Bakery, including a seller’s permit, a business license and a DBA.

Alina recently landed an account with a restaurant to use her bread for their menu dishes. She plans to expand her capacity to do more wholesale accounts, eventually doing both wholesale and retail at equal volume. In order to adapt to the pandemic, Alina wears a mask every time she’s in the kitchen or working with her product. She makes sure her hands are clean at all times and gets tested regularly for COVID-19.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of August 31, 2020. Read this issue and more.