Open for Business: Bloomington bakery pushes through pandemic to offer cultural creations

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) – There are early mornings and long days for Apolinar Sotelo, but the Bloomington baker finds passion in his creations. 

“I kept learning over the course of time,” said Sotelo.

He learned to make what’s called pan dulce or sweet bread while living in Mexico. For years, Sotelo sold his baked goods at the Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market. He recalled baking out of his house originally.

“…Selling on Saturdays–every Saturday from May 5th to November in the center of Bloomington,” he said.

Sotelo officially opened his bakery, La Espigugita De Oro in October 2020. He said it’s difficult work and he only has a small staff of his family members to help. They work while also managing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said, “We carry on and carry on with two employees–three at times to see if we survive. Because it’s difficult for everyone, I think.”

But Sotelo said the work he does is important for the family he supports. Beyond that, he’s also offering the community new cultural elements in the form of food. 

“In this community, we don’t have Mexican bakeries. We don’t have Mexican, Hispanic ice cream. All of the people love it. It doesn’t matter their race,” Sotelo said.

La Espiguita De Oro is located at 2303 East Washington Street in Bloomington.

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