Since Vice President Kamala Harris visited the sugar Bakery on the side last Tuesday to throw a spotlight on small Black female-owned businesses, in-store retail sales jumped 21% overall and online sales increased 88%, consistent with owner Stephanie Hart.
VP Kamala Harris made a quick stop outside the bakery at 328 E. 75th on the way back to Midway Airport after she toured a COVID-19 vaccination center at 2260 S. Grove St., organized by the Chicago Federation of Labor. She picked up a slice of German cake – her favorite – and therefore the bakery staff presented her with two trays of caramel, strawberry and lemon cupcakes.
The stop generated enormous publicity for the bakery and gave a lift to all or any of 75th Street.The visit was a complete surprise to Hart, who didn’t even know Harris was getting to be in Chicago last Tuesday. She said security agents came to the shop at 3:01 p.m. to try to to what's called a security “sweep,” and Harris appeared about 10 minutes later. Hart couldn’t get there in time.Harris was gone about 3:20 p.m.
Something meaningful happened as a results of those jiffy . It resulted during a real time positive economic impact for a business that had to pack up for a couple of months last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Hart had to shut a store within the Austin neighborhood and she or he is functioning on getting an outlet on Navy Pier reopened. With the assistance of two PPP loans and learning to pivot to things like online ordering, Hart told me she has 40 full- and part-time workers, including those staffing her confectionary line. sugar may be a small scale economic engine.
Last month, President Joe Biden told Harris to require on the immigration crisis on the southern border, with the precise duties of her assignment still evolving. She has not yet visited the border nor talked expansively about what she has in mind.What, you'll ask, does this need to do with a bakery stop on Chicago’s South Side?Some conservative media outlets and other critics twisted the fast visit — with its clear small minority business development intent — to jab Harris over how she is handling her border assignment.
At the Wednesday White House briefing, ny Post reporter Steven Nelson, noting Harris “took time to go to a bakery in Chicago” asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, when it involves immigration, “I’m wondering, is she still performing on this?”
Psaki said, “the vice chairman was visiting Chicago actually to speak about COVID and therefore the importance of communities getting the vaccine when it’s available and accessible to them. And so, while she was there, like many Americans, she got a snack. i feel she’s allowed to try to to that.”
The same day, Fox News said during a tweet, “VP Harris visits Chicago bakery whilst border crisis escalates.”Stopping at the bakery had a bigger purpose than getting a slice of cake and added only a couple of minutes and a couple of miles to the Harris afternoon visit.It’s ridiculous to even suggest it’s an either/or — visit the bakery or the border.How to revive sections of the side that require more economic development involves tons . Breaking down the mission into bite size chunks can bring results fast.
The day after the Harris visit, Wednesday, sugar sold 48 slices of German cake , compared to eight slices for the previous Wednesday.Last week, sugar sold 9 cakes online. within the days following the Harris visit, orders came certain 75 cakes “and tons of them aren’t from Chicago,” Hart said. On Sunday, Hart was at the bakery preparing to ship cakes on Monday or Tuesday.
“The very best part” of Harris coming to sugar , said Hart was “the enthusiasm of the neighborhood, how included they felt and the way they were amazed that the vice chairman would come to 75th Street for love or money .”Said Hart, with Harris stopping on 75th, it had been an opportunity for the people that live there to ascertain “what is sweet about our community which we are deserving and deserve a visit like that because one among many things we had best during this community is, we observe cake.”