Day in and day out, the crew at El Bolillo in Pasadena presses, rolls and paints the bakery’s creations.
“We have an amazing team of guys,” says owner Kirk Michaelis.
El Bolillo has been in Houston for 21 years. When it first got started, there was only one store. Now there are three and the staff has grown from five employees to more than 250.
“Just really, really blessed,” Michaelis says of his opportunity to grow here in Houston.
During Harvey, he was able to pass some blessings along to the community that has supported his businesses for more than two decades.
“I had three bakers here and four bakers at the other store. They got rained in. They couldn’t get out,” he says. “They spent the night and they kept on making bread. They kept on working.”
The teams made so much bread that by the time Michaelis was able to get to the stores, there was too much to fill the showcases. Instead, he decided to load up a van and start donating what he could. It averaged out to between 3,000 to 5,000 pieces of bread each day.
“The whole time Harvey hit, we had pastries,” says Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner. “As bad as it was, there was a silver lining to that. It was this bakery right here.”
In a way, El Bolillo fed the city’s soul and its storm victims when they were starving for help.
“I truly believe the only way you get through anything is partnerships, partnerships with our citizens and partnerships with our businesses makes Pasadena what Pasadena really is,” Wagner says.
Michaelis says he’s just grateful he had the opportunity to feed the community his bakeries call home.
“We’re just being neighborly,” he says.
To nominated a Harvey hero, email Brandi.