Manolo’s Bakery, North Carolina
Charlotte and North Carolina as a whole are growing rapidly, and the importance of immigrant-owned businesses also continues growing as the state becomes more diversified and internationally involved. A good example of this diverse growth is Manuel “Manolo” Betancur. A native of Colombia, Manolo runs one of the most popular bakeries in Charlotte.
Manolo started to develop entrepreneurial skills during his service in the Colombian Navy after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Navy Engineering and scaling the ranks as a special forces commander. However, after years of war and unrest in his country, Manolo decided to immigrate to the U.S. for a better future. He moved to Miami in 2000 with only two pairs of pants, two shirts, one pair of shoes, some money in his pocket and no English in his repertoire.
After a year of struggling to make ends meet, Manolo won a scholarship to study at King University in Bristol, Tennessee. He started classes in Fall 2001 while working as a dishwasher in the same school. By Spring 2004, he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in modern languages.
A few years later and with more experience under his belt, Manolo moved to Charlotte, NC where he became involved and interested in Charlotte’s first Hispanic bakery in a fast-growing and promising city. Manolo purchased Las Delicias Bakery in 2011 and rebranded it to Manolo’s Bakery. In his quest to become a more educated and skilled entrepreneur, he became involved with local business programs, graduating from the Small Business Administration Charlotte Emerging Leaders Program and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte’s Business Builders program.
Today, after becoming an example of entrepreneurship in Charlotte and receiving several awards and recognition, Manolo has taken his business to another level by supplying high-quality baked goods and desserts to over 100 stores, restaurants, and supermarkets across North Carolina and Virginia.
Prospera is currently providing support to Manolo’s Bakery with access to capital and connecting him with other local resources to help him scale his business. Learn more about Manolo’s Bakery at https://www.facebook.com/ManolosBakeryClt/.