Last year, the National Bureau of Economic Research reported 36% of immigrant-owned businesses closed after the first month of COVID-19.
It was a big hit to South Florida which has one of the nation’s highest share of foreign-born business owners.
Many of these businesses have bounced back — and some are bigger and better.
One Jupiter owner in our area is making a reality television debut this week.
At Nina’s Fresh Bakery in Jupiter one minute cake specialist Levi Grooms is pushing product to people like Julie Tamburro and the next he’s taking specialty orders far and wide.
“Everything they make is special and it is custom,” said Tamburro. “It’s like there’s no boundaries.”
Tamburro is a loyal customer since 2013, part of a growing minority of local customers. Nina Tomasik, a Slovakia-born business owner has orders from as far away as India well into the fall of 2022.
“In 2013 when I started this I was learning one by one. And I’m self-taught and built my self on this,” Tomasik said. “The clocks real and it’s ticking.”
“We’ve got weddings booked for October of next year,” added Grooms.
WPTV wanted to know is it the century old family recipe or the dedication to the product that’s driving customers?
“We’re talking calls from all over the world,” Tomasik said.
Including a call from Netflix.
“It’s like my wildest dream,” said Tomasik.
This week you can catch Tomasik on Baking Impossible, a competition reality series that pairs “top-tier bakers and engineers” together to build “edible creations that must taste delicious and survive intense engineering stress tests.” Learn more about it, here: https://www.netflix.com/title/81152744
“The engineering part, the baking part — everything has to come together. and that’s what the bakineer stands for,” she said.
Tomasik says as a business owner she’s used to pressure. But television pressure with a stranger is different.
“The clocks real, the pressures real, there’s cameras everywhere — I loved it,” she said.
Tomasik hopes her appearance encourages more foreign-born business owners to bring uniqueness to their markets. She also hope it inspires them to recognize the void they may fill.
“You never know who's watching, you never know when you’re going to get that phone call — you never know whose coming through the door,” Tomasik said. “I really want to inspire people by starting online tutorials and virtual courses. I want to show people that they can definitely bake even if you’re just starting.”