As Hurricane Harvey approached Texas last week, the bakers at El Bolillo Bakery in Houston worked overtime, knowing people would be eager to stock up on food.
By Saturday evening, the Mexican bakery’s Wayside location, on the southeast side of the city, had sold out of just about every piece of bread it had.
“We were trying to open up late and trying to make enough bread for everybody. We knew we get absolutely slammed busy during these days,” Brian Alvarado, the manager of the bakery, told The Washington Post. “We didn’t think it was going to rain for that long and that badly.”
As the storm pummeled Houston with record rainfall Saturday, most of El Bolillo’s employees were able to leave work. Alvarado said he barely made it home before roads became impassable.
Four bakers, however, found themselves trapped inside the Wayside store, just south of Interstate 45 and north of Brays Bayou. Hemmed in by rising floodwaters, the bakers had no choice but to hunker down among El Bolillo’s ovens and its now-empty display cases.
On social media, the bakery notified people that it would be closed until further notice.
What Alvarado didn’t know was that the four bakers trapped inside the bakery would grow restless.
“They were desperate to get to their families and they couldn’t,” Alvarado said.
So they turned to what they knew best: baking.
For two days, the trapped bakers churned out hundreds of pieces of bread, filling the shelves again with bolillos (a Mexican sandwich bread), kolaches and their signature pan dulce. They watched as, at the peak of flooding, water approached the doors of the building; fortunately, it never seeped in, and the store never lost electricity, Alvarado said later.
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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Amy B Wang