Manolo Betancur has a plan — to bring his Latin bakery concept to the poorest towns of NC in hopes to create jobs, growth, and spark life on desolate Main Streets that can use some love.
It’s this attitude that has helped his Charlotte, NC bakery, Manolo’s Latin Bakery, find success. “Business is not about money, business is about people,” says the former Colombian Navy vet. A Colombian native, Betancur grew up ‘under the influence of the U.S.’ He came to America and studied at King University in TN before making his way to Charlotte.
After taking over his ex-in-laws bakery, there were a few things he knew would be imperative to success. He did not want to create a niche Colombian bakery, instead offering a broad selection of Latin cultures from Cuban pastelitos, to Mexican bread, and Argentinean empanadas. And he believes businesses have a social responsibility to give back to the community and pay employees what they need to live in a metropolitan city. He strives to create a culture of respect and harmony, knowing the importance of hiring people smarter than him. “I’m a very bad baker,” laughs Betancur.
Through the ebbs and flows of financial crises, pandemics, and life’s hardships, Betancur has continued to persist. Failure is not an option for him. “The American dream is still alive. What you need to do is just stand up and work hard, invest in yourself and invest in knowledge. Challenge and difficult times, they’re always going to be there.”