Sierra Madre cafe on verge of closing relying on community support
SIERRA MADRE, Calif. - Bean Town has been in the heart of the Sierra Madre business district for over three decades. There have been several owners, but the shop has never been in as precarious a position financially as it is now.
Owner David Bremer said the COVID-19 pandemic hurt him and his business. The recovery was very slow, and then one day an elderly driver backed into the front of his shop.
"The accident shut us down for 10 months," he said. "In the middle of the reconstruction, the contractor passed away so that set us back further."
If that wasn't enough, Bremer said another contractor got COVID, and was out for three months. Life was slowly being drained from Bean Town. Business was down $800 to $1,200 a day; a tough thing when the goal is $1,800 a day. The 60-year-old Bremer said he was planning to shut the place down two weeks ago. He said it was over, "... We were scheduled to close. We were done. We were closing the doors... going bankrupt." But, new life has been injected into the Sierra Madre shop. Customers started showing up; a GoFundMe campaign was getting lots of donations.
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"I feel for them here. I really do," said customer Amanda Rogers. Customer Lina Vartan said, "It's like a dark cloud has been over their heads, and it means a lot to be able to help."
Bremer said, "I'm very humbled by the people that have come in," because he knows business-life for Bean Town has been a struggle. If things don't work out he said, "We of course lose the business. We could go bankrupt... we could lose our house."
But, Bremer has community support. That's what he's counting on. And, he's hopeful and has been uplifted by his customers and the community.