When Gov. Roy Cooper issued the order for all North Carolina restaurants and bars to close for dine-in customers last March because of COVID-19, the staff at Manolo’s Bakery in Charlotte joined a long list of restaurant industry employees who suddenly found themselves without work. But Manolo’s Bakery isn’t your average small business, and its owner, Manuel Jose (Manolo) Betancur ’04, isn’t your average small business owner.
Manolo’s is an award-winning bakery that, in addition to selling directly to the public, supplies high-quality sweet and savory Latin American baked goods and desserts to dozens of stores, restaurants, and supermarkets across North Carolina and Virginia. Betancur is well-known in Charlotte not only for his delicious bread, cakes, and pastries, for his steadfast advocacy and generous support for refugees, immigrants, and people in need throughout the area.
Since 2005, he worked with dozens of community organizations providing free birthday cakes to Raise You Up Ministries, which serves the suffering. His bakery has touched many lives, including those outside of Charlotte. He has made weekly excursions to the hills of North Carolina and to remote Christmas tree farms to feed migrant workers. He has also provided meals for children and families that have escaped an international crisis.
“The day we received the order from the governor’s office was a very painful day. I couldn’t sleep that night. I was praying ‘God, this is on your shoulders, please give me strength to face this new situation.’ I was more worried about all the families who depend on the bakery.”
Manolo’s story is highlighted in depth in the latest issue of the King Magazine on page 12. Click here to enjoy reading. Thank you Manolo for your unwavering faith in God and service to your community.