The Monona community is coming together this giving season to support a family-owned business.
On Nov. 10, Monona Bakery and Eatery announced an unexpected two week closure due to COVID-19.
The news came after Vicente Sacramento, patriarch of the family-owned business, went to the doctor with an ear infection and surprisingly tested positive for COVID-19.
“We want to let you all know that we will be closing for the next two weeks, if not a bit longer,” the family wrote in a statement. “This past weekend, our dad was not feeling well and went to the doctor, they told him he had an ear infection. Today he was informed that they also ran a COVID-19 test and it came back positive.”
Sacramento runs the bakery alongside his wife Claudia and their two daughters, Wendy and Claudia.
In an effort to ease the family’s burden in an already tumultuous time for small businesses, one loyal customer started an online fundraiser for the bakery.
“My family would like to support Monona Bakery in order to ease the burden in at least a small way. I invite you to consider doing the same if you are able,” wrote Larry Gundlach, organizer of the fundraiser.
Set up through GoFundMe.com, the initial monetary goal was $2,000. It surpassed that amount in less than 24 hours.
With almost 100 donations, the fundraiser had raised $3,150 as of Nov. 30.
Melissa Remus, a Monona resident who recently moved near the bakery, said she was quick to donate to the cause.
“Eating out can be especially difficult because my husband has a lot of food intolerances, but the bakery is beyond accommodating,” Remus said. “It’s such an asset to the neighborhood having such a friendly family-owned business, and one I want to support.”
Many who donated to the fundraiser said their primary motivation was their sheer admiration for the Sacramento family.
Madison resident Miriam Sellers said she was especially proud of how the family handled its COVID-19 shutdown.
“My admiration for this family grew even more in light of how they handled COVID. When their family got it, they took every precaution, including waiting longer than the recommended time period before reopening,” Sellers said.
“I contributed to their GoFundMe page, as this was the least I could do to support this wonderful family and the contributions they have made to our community.”
Although the bakery reopened as of Friday, Nov. 29, the fundraiser remains open, and can be accessed at gofundme.com/f/monona-bakeryhelp-with-expenses-during-quarantine
“I know that all of us want to see Claudia, Vicente and family again, as soon as possible, back doing what they love and do best,” Gundlach said.
In a statement released on Nov. 26, the family thanked the Monona community.
“Thanks for making the GoFundMe a success, both through spreading the word and making contributions,” the family wrote. “Thank you for spreading kindness during what is a challenging time for many.”