Saturday November 28, 2015

Small business, big impact

Around 3 in the afternoon, Ramiro Vasquez Padilla, owner of La Oaxaqueña Bakery, says his south Oklahoma City shop begins to fill up with families, many of which have just picked up their kids from school.

“After school is our busy time of the day when they are picking up the kids,” Padilla said. “It’s like an obligation for a business [to get involved in local schools] because we depend on our customers and many of them have kids in the schools.”

Padilla is the parent of five, so he has a personal investment in Oklahoma City Public Schools. But he also believes schools play an important role in the growth of his community and he has found numerous ways to act as a community partner with several schools, including donating food for school events such as teacher appreciation lunches and school Christmas parties.

Like most businesses across Oklahoma City, Padilla’s bakery is not a multi million-dollar operation that is able to write big checks to fund large programs or building projects. But that doesn’t mean the work Padilla does for OKCPS is not important. Even something as simple as providing food for a teacher’s appreciation party helps encourage the men and women who spend each day with kids.

Padilla doesn’t look for praise and he quickly changes the subject when complemented his involvement. But he does acknowledge that helping local schools leaves him with a good feeling.

“We can all make a difference,” Padilla said. “This is our community and the schools are our community.”

Oklahoma City Public Schools rely on the support of community partners of all types, including small businesses like La Oaxaqueña Bakery. Partners In Action provides a platform for community partners to connect with local schools in meaningful and strategic ways. Learn more here.

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