Recent Valencia Grads Prepare Variety of Flavors at Sabores Bakery

Jeremy Gottschalk, Editor-In-Chief

From left to right: Recent Valencia graduate Andrea Taborda, 28, A.S. to B.S. transition program for Business Administration, Sabores Bakery owner and alum Julian Perez, A.S. in Business Administration, and recent graduate Valeria Narvaez, 26, A.S. in New Media Communications.  (Valeria Narvaez)

The smell of baked goods excite the senses as the brain attempts to process the variety of flavors created at the aptly-named Sabores Bakery. Located off S. Orange Blossom Trail in Hunter’s Creek, Sabores Bakery is the culmination of community, family and Valencia education as the application of years of study are put to use in this delightful Orlando business and community space. The bakery brings to life Colombian food and flavors as well as Venezuelan and Puerto Rican flavors. From chocorramo to quesitos, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

 

Owners and siblings Julian and Valentina Perez have endured much over the last two years. The Perez’s arrived from Medellin, Colombia, in 2016, where they hoped to learn English and fell in love with Orlando and its culture. Julian was newly-graduated with a Business Administration Associate in Science degree when COVID-19 hit. Sabores Bakery opened in 2019 amid some of the hardest hit times for businesses. In several instances, the bakery was closed for weeks while the quarantine and mandates prevented their business from thriving. Then, as recently as 2021, Valentina had to return to Colombia while pursuing options for a work visa in order to once again move back to the U.S.¬†

Julian Perez, Valencia Business Administration grad and co-owner of Sabores Bakery.

Julian has attributed the skills and studies at Valencia College with his success in making Sabores Bakery the great establishment it is today. Julian reflects, “Speech was my hardest class. I don’t like presenting in front of people; it was hard speaking outside of my native language.” He reflects, “The thing is that when I was studying at Valencia, I was also studying at (Sabores Bakery). Everything I was learning, I was using it at the business (at the same time). It was like I was an intern.”

 

Two recent Valencia graduates also work here. Manager Andrea Taborda, 28, A.S. to B.S. transition program for Business Administration, and Social Media Manager Valeria Narvaez, 26, A.S. in New Media Communications. Taborda says, “Valencia gives me skills to use day-by-day.” Taborda started at Sabores Bakery in November 2021, is completing a CPT and hopes to go back to Valencia College to study Restaurant and Food Service Management. Narvaez handles social media including the bakery’s Instagram account. Narvaez explains, “I have practically been doing all the things I’ve learned from my internship and work here. I use video production, graphics, journalism, and new media communications.” Upon completion of her optional practical training period, Narvaez will apply for another visa.

“I have practically been doing all the things I’ve learned from my internship and work here. I use video production, graphics, journalism, and new media communications,” says Narvaez, 26, A.S. in New Media Communications. (left) with fellow employees of Sabores Bakery.

 

Perez says he hopes to reach more people, as even after three years customers of the outlets nearby will pass by the store and not know it’s there. He encourages anyone in the surrounding areas of Kissimmee and Valencia’s Osceola Campus to stop in and say hello. Perez offers this life lesson, “Keep it simple. I try to get the love of the people around me, my community. I focus on more relations than transactions. When you’ve made a brother, you’ll find they are more interested in supporting your business.”