Client Spotlight: La Bamba Bakery & Grocery

WomenVenture loan client, Samantha Bastian-Hernandez, and her family are the owners of La Bamba Bakery & Grocery

Having grown up on a farm in Veracruz, Mexico, Ana Rosa says that she has been baking her whole life. Her baking career started in earnest when she was 11 years old. Her mother taught her to make traditional breads and baked goods using a hand-built, wood-fired oven. “Nothing can compare to that flavor,” says Ana Rosa. Though she can’t replicate the exact flavors of her childhood here in Minnesota, she is giving the local Latinx community a taste that feels pretty close to home.

La Bamba Bakery and Grocery in Hopkins is a community corner shop specializing in baked goods, groceries, and home supplies. Though they have only been open for a few months, the business is already gaining traction among locals. The area Latinx population is thrilled to have a local spot that they can walk to. “Not many Latinas in our community own their own car,” says Ana Rosa’s daughter, Samantha. “We see people walk out of the neighborhood right next to us every Saturday morning to come shop,” she adds. La Bamba has also received praise from others in the community, including local high school students who stop in because they heard about the bakery via social media.

While Ana Rosa does most of the baking, the family-owned business is run by her daughter, Samantha, and son, Oscar. Samantha manages many of the logistical aspects of running the business and when she needed extra money to get their storefront up and running, she reached out to WomenVenture’s Training Manger, Yolanda Cotterall. In partnership with the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), WomenVenture provided the capital that allowed La Bamba to complete the build-out of the store and purchase shelving and equipment.

The support and encouragement that they received from WomenVenture throughout the loan process really made the difference for La Bamba. “We had been trying to start our business for three years,” says Ana Rosa. “Having Yolanda tell us ‘you can do this!’ was like a dream come true.” In addition to the loan, WomenVenture also connected La Bamba with a volunteer lawyer that helped them navigate a naming issue.

Today, Samantha is confident that La Bamba is poised for success. “WomenVenture taught us a lot about running a business,” she says. “I know we are going to continue to grow.”