Sweet gesture helps West Side bakery upended by pandemic

Social media post rallies support for Guerrero’s Bakery

Stay-home orders threatened the future of Guerrero's Bakery on the West Side until a social media post urged customers to show up.

SAN ANTONIO – The doorbell jingle is a sweet sound for the owners of Guerrero’s Bakery. It means customers are coming back for their Mexican pastries. Now, the kitchen is bustling, and the air smacks of sugar and gratitude.

“Business was very slow because (of) no school,” said Karina Guerrero, who runs the small West Side shop at 533 North General McMullen Drive with her husband, Ismael.

Pandemic takes economic bite out of Mexican pastry bakery

For more than two months, stay-home orders kept customers away from their usual breakfast tacos and sweet bread.

“I haven’t been at work, so I haven’t stopped by,” said Patricia Menchaca, who was back for her favorite treats.

The shop had been so quiet the Guerreros wondered if their small business would even make it.

“We were worried about it, yes, because no customers, no money and no business,” Guerrero said.

Then, a customer’s Facebook plea to rally behind the neighborhood bakery went viral.

“My husband saw it,” said Skylar Matthews. “He said, ‘Look, your bakery,’ and I was, ‘No, I hope they don’t go out of business because they make the best tortillas.’”

Immediately, old customers and new began showing up, at times even lining up outside to accommodate social distancing rules.

“It’s important to help small business,” said Norma Castellanos, who arrived to buy a bag of goodies.

The bakery saw an immediate boost in business, a testament to the power of community, social media and a fresh-baked empanada.

Guerrero said the support was unexpected and overwhelming, warming their hearts. Now, with customers coming through the door, the ovens are warming, too.

“We are grateful,” she said.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.