Barrio Bakery’s exterior bright colors of yellow, red, and blue are both eye-catching and inviting to passersby, but it’s the quality pastries and warm atmosphere that keep people coming back for more.
Located in the Old North End of Burlington, VT, Barrio has become known as the neighborhood bakery, which is fitting, as Barrio translates to “neighborhood” in Spanish.
Open since October 2010, Barrio is family-owned and operated by Ryan and Jessica Bunce. Ryan is head chef and has been cooking professionally since the age of 14. Jessica, a Vermont native, runs the business side of the establishment. Together, the two work hand-in-hand to develop innovative business plans and fresh pastries from scratch.
“Everything you see here is made every day,” said Ryan. “We don’t have back stock. It’s all fresh.”
Not only is Barrio Bakery the place to go during the day for a delicious raspberry chocolate croissant or Mexican mocha, it is also a destination restaurant by night. Once 5:30 p.m. hits, Barrio Bakery morphs into “Pizza Barrio”, a mood-lit, Italian-style restaurant complete with waitstaff, warm ambiance, indoor and outdoor seating, and music of all styles.
“It made sense,” said Ryan. “We had the space, we had the oven. We had the idea for a little over a year and finally made it happen in August 2012.”
“We’ve really established ourselves as a destination location where it’s warm and cozy,” added Jessica.
It was always a dream of theirs to open a bakery/pizzeria, and that dream came true thanks to the Bunce’s hard work, dedication, and careful financing through several local financial institutions.
“We had loans with quite a few places,” said Jessica. “After a while, we thought it would make a lot more sense to consolidate everything.”
“People kept saying: ‘Try Opportunities!’”, said Ryan, as a way to consolidate their debt into more easily digestible chunks with a single interest rate.
“Opportunities likes to support ‘local’ and we’re right around the corner from them,” said Jessica. “People kept saying that you get a really nice feel when you work with them.”
Not only that, but Opportunities Credit Union practices what they preach when it comes to the businesses they support. Opportunities staff members at the Burlington branch, and even Greg Huysman, Business Development Manager, frequent Barrio Bakery.
“They come in here all the time,” said Ryan.
“Whenever I go to Opportunities, people say ‘I’ve been going to Barrio for so long!’ which feels really nice,” said Jessica. “I like being so close.”
Jessica and Ryan both agree that Opportunities was a great financial institution to work with and that the people were a big reason why they chose to bank with them. “We didn’t really shop around once we found Greg,” said Jessica. “It was kind of a perfect fit. He was very nice and respectful and there was a quick turnaround.”
Ryan and Jessica have thought about opening up another location (not necessarily another bakery) to sooth their entrepreneurial spirit. Both have stated that Greg has been open to providing them with various options to see what different businesses would look like. Having just surpassed its five-year anniversary, who knows what is next for Barrio!
You can visit Barrio Bakery every day from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Pizza Barrio Tuesday through Saturday evenings from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. If you’re lucky, you might even get to say “hello” to a member of the Opportunities Credit Union staff when you visit!
If you are interested in learning more about Opportunities’ small business loans, contact Greg Huysman today at 654-4540 x113. If you would like to apply for a loan now, use the button below: