The owner of a popular El Paso bakery is starting the next chapter of his life and putting up his business for sale.
Bella Cora, which opened on the Westside in 2012, is officially for sale, said owner Jonathan Bowden.
The bakery’s two locations will remain open for the rest of the year. But if Bowden doesn’t find a buyer before Dec. 31, then the business will close.
Bowden said that despite Bella Cora’s success, it’s time to hang up his apron and move on to new things. He and his family will be relocating to Louisville, Kentucky, where he will attend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“The exact nature of what that is, I don’t know, but it’s wherever Jesus and my family want to take me. My intent is to become a Baptist minister,” Bowden said. “Doing that at the same time as owning the bakery was a little stressful.”
He declined to list the selling price or valuation but said Bella Cora generates a “good amount of cash flow and profit,” and he believes the valuation is fair.
It might not take a full six months for Bowden to find a buyer. Last week, he posted to Bella Cora’s social media pages about the business sale. The posts brought in plenty of support from fans.
Bowden said he had exhausted other ways of trying to find a buyer before reaching out to the bakery’s thousands of followers via social media.
“El Paso is a big city but a small city, and everyone knows everyone,” Bowden said. “Sure enough, we’ve had a lot of interest in the past two days, and have had meetings. We’ve had multiple parties and welcome others.”
Bowden said he has been talking to several interested parties and is pursuing something that would be more than just the sale of the business. He said he’s looking for a buyer who can continue the business and has the capital and experience necessary to keep things running.
What’s for sale is the LLC that structures the Bella Cora business, Bowden said. He said the LLC includes the bakery’s assets, intellectual property and social media.
“The new owner would be buying the entire business. Everything is included except for me,” Bowden said, adding that he will take along the copper pot he’s had since he was a kid.
Bowden opened Bella Cora bakery’s Westside location, at 7500 N. Mesa, in October 2012 after a few years of selling baked goods at markets and bazaars. He opened the second location, at 1830 Joe Battle, in 2015.
The bakery has been the recipient of several Best Of awards from El Paso Inc. and other publications.
On Friday morning, the bakery’s cases were well stocked with everything from macarons to savory scones. There was one customer ordering some morning pastries, and a few to-go orders were ready to head out the door.
Bowden said the business has been profitable even through COVID-19 closures and disruptions, and reiterated that the bakery will be open through the rest of the year and hopefully beyond.
“My family and I, Lord willing, will be leaving at the end of the year. If we’re able to find a buyer then they’d transition and, no, there would be no interruption in the business,” Bowden said. “If not, we’d close at the end of the year. But I don’t anticipate that and have no intention of closing.”
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Sara Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (915) 534-4422.