A man who lives in San Diego’s North County who lost his job during the coronavirus pandemic has turned his struggle into motivation for a sweet side hustle: baking and selling Mexican sweet bread.
Javier Moreno is a father of six originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. A few years ago, he moved to Fallbrook in search of better opportunities. He said he had been working steadily as a gardener when the pandemic hit.
Like so many people, he lost hours at work and was struggling to pay his rent – and finding it hard to send money back to his family in Mexico. He found a part-time job at a small convenience store in the North County stocking food on shelves. But the gig was unstable.
Moreno told Telemundo 20 that he had to find a way to rise out of the situation.
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And he found that path in his kitchen.
In January, Moreno’s mother – who also lives in Fallbrook – was craving donuts.
Moreno had always liked baking and was pretty good at it. So, he made his mom some doughnuts.
That day, a few of his mother’s friends visited her and she shared the doughnuts made by Moreno. He told T20 his mother’s friends liked them so much, they asked if they could order some from him.
From there, things got a bit sweeter.
The word spread among neighbors and friends and soon, Moreno said he had people calling his phone to place orders. Many of them were craving sweets but didn’t want to leave their homes, so he began delivering the treats to their doors.
Moreno also started making pan dulce – traditional Mexican sweet bread – in all the traditional varieties, from conchitas to cuernitos.
One day, a friend posted photos of Moreno’s sweet bread and his phone number on Facebook and the orders kept coming. He said he continues to take orders via his social media account.
Moreno took his project even further by selling the sweet bread on the streets, near a Northgate supermarket in Fallbrook.
Moreno said he doesn’t have a professional oven but now, with the money coming in from orders, he’s saving up to buy one so he can start baking even more.
His dream is to one day be able to open his own little bakery – and then expand.
The self-taught baker said, for him, starting this little business has been a lesson in never giving up on himself – even when things get challenging.
“If others can have success with businesses like this, why can’t I?” Moreno said.
Moreno also told Telemundo 20 that he’s seen so many of his friends struggle to make something of themselves after tough things happen, like losing a job. He wants to show people that you can get back up and keep going.
“Do something you like to do – even if you’re scared,” Moreno said. “Go for it, reach inside yourself and make it happen.”