Silvia’s Bakery

Silvia of Silvia's bakery with her team

Widener University SBDC Client Success Story
SBA Eastern Pennsylvania’s 2020 Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

Long before Silvia Paulinho created Silvia’s Bakery, she grew a love for the kitchen and a talent for creating delicious foods and pastries at her childhood home in the Dominican Republic. After living in the US for just five years, Silvia decided to start her bakery as a home-based business in 2002.

As her business outgrew her home, she saw the need to create a traditional Latino bakery in her community and after moving to two different locations, she moved once again, this time taking on an expansion. When she moved to her current manufacturing facility and retail store at 2530 N 2nd Street, situated in the middle of an area designated as the American Street Empowerment Zone, Sylvia noticed significant growth. Her family-built team includes her oldest daughter, a culinary school graduate, who runs production; her son who manages finances; her sister-in-law who serves as Sylvia’s right-hand; and her husband who manages distribution.

In 2019, Silvia became a part of the first cohort of Ella Emprende (She Undertakes), hosted in partnership with Widener University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Finanta, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Ella Emprende is a year-long women’s entrepreneurship program through which participants develop a personalized strategic growth plan. Through Widener SBDC’s bilingual consultants, Silvia was able to receive quality business services in Spanish that enabled her to strengthen, innovate, manage, and expand her business.

As the pandemic began, Silvia was among many that felt the affects. However, she again worked with the Widener University SBDC, joining in webinars like Pequeno Empresario VS. Coronavirus (Small Business Owner VS. Coronavirus), and, Reinventa y Reactiva tu Negocio (Reinvent and Reactivate your Business). These programs acted as a guide for Silvia to navigate the difficulties of running her business amidst a pandemic, breaking down how small business owners, like herself, could maintain what they had built, and bounce back even stronger.

Silvia's Bakery logo