SAN JOSE, Calif. - Downtown San Jose welcomed three new businesses with another business set to open in a few weeks.
City leaders said, it’s a sign things are looking up.
Like many urban centers, downtown San Jose has lost several businesses. Other businesses are struggling and shut down due to county health orders. These entrepreneurs are hopeful downtown will bounce back.
When Colombia meets Italy is a way to describe Natural Sweet Delight. It’s a Columbian Italian coffee shop and bakery in downtown San Jose that opened its doors this month.
It’s a venture between Davide Cantara and his fiancé after Cantara lost his job in hospitality.
"We were scared at first but we needed to do something," said Cantara. "We were thinking this was a good opportunity in the center of San Jose and we believe that Covid will end."
It’s one of three businesses that opened in the last few weeks.
Holy Cannoli had their grand opening last month. They were supposed to open back in March but the pandemic hit, then the protests downtown. The shop has been Jamie Whitmire’s lifelong dream.
"I’ve invested everything into this business for myself and my daughter," said Whitmire. "This is our livelihood and there’s no option."
Then, there’s Insomnia Cookies. Its delivery model has done well. The chain is expanding in California. San Jose is its 10th location in the state.
"People need that comfort food," said Insomnia Store Operations Manager Christie Combs. "We have the warm delicious cookies delivered all night long."
San Jose’s downtown manager calls the three businesses the city’s new sweet hotspots.
"These folks are really a testament to the promise and the hope people are feeling right now," said San Jose Downtown Manager Blage Zelalich. "Everyone is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."
That light a bit brighter with the Good Spot Restaurant and Lounge serving tapas. It’s set to open in a few weeks. It’s all proof people are optimistic for downtown's recovery hoping to inspire others.
"There’s nothing in the world that's going to hold me back from my goals so here I am today and I’m going to keep pushing forward," said Whitmire.
The nice weather has helped business a lot. City leaders believe business will only get better once Santa Clara County enters the red tier and once the city is able to host conventions again.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.