Sweet and Savory Delights group pic.jpg

Pictured (from left)  Lennetta Williams, Program Coordinator, Yanira Cristobal-Lopez, Johana Acosta , Deborah Osorio-Matul, Veronica Perez, Yessica Ortiz-Mendoza , Mariana Hernandez, Kelly Morales-Vasquez, Emcy Domingo-Morales, Anisse Colon , Jessica Perez-Lopez, Sandy Mateo-Lopez, Jasmine Hernandez, Alisa Cruz-Mendez , Ingrid Raymundo and Elizabeth Sebastian, Program Intern.  Not pictured are  Evelin Vincente-Rodriguez, Isabel, Isabella, Emily and Emily Amada.

On Nov.18, the Sweet and Savory Delights Bakery concluded this year’s program with a recognition ceremony for 19 participants who received college scholarship certificates. The celebration was held after Mass at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

Thanks to a grant from the Burke Women’s Fund awarded last s pring, the program was able to celebrate six years of baking and selling, and continued to offer scholarships to young Hispanic women. A total of 57 scholarship certificates totaling $21,095 have been given and 17 have been distributed to the participants’ colleges thus far.

This summer’s program not only has seen an increase in the number of participants and scholarships this year, but also added more bakery “delights,” and increased marketing with the addition of a website and instagram page.

Elizabeth Sebastian started with the program as a participant in 2013 and then served as the Program Intern the past three years.

“This program means so much to me, I have been involved since the beginning and have seen it grow,” Sebastian said. “It has given me the opportunity to work with amazing young ladies and have seen each of them gain confidence in themselves.”

Each week throughout the summer, delicious offerings of muffins, cakes, pecan tarts, cookies, granola and fresh tortillas were baked with the highest quality ingredients at the First Presbyterian Church’s kitchen and then sold at the Morganton Farmers’ Market, the Burke Arts Council Oyster Outing, and through special orders. The granola and “everything” cookies were a big hit this year, and customers could even purchase frozen cookie dough so they could enjoy them whenever they had a cookie craving.

“The girls loved trying new recipes and seeing the public’s reaction, they also loved decorating cupcakes, after teaching them a few techniques with different decorating tips I just let them decide which way to decorate. I loved seeing them take such proud ownership,” says Anne Bourg, mentor baker and board member.

The program not only gives young Hispanic women the opportunity to earn college scholarships but also obtain many new life skills. Teamwork, the importance of producing and packaging a delicious, aesthetically pleasing baked product, and effectively pricing and promoting their goods, are just a few of the invaluable opportunities and challenges that the participants encounter. It also allows the participants to interact with many different people from the Burke County c ommunity, connecting them to resources that can help as they begin applying to colleges, pursuing a college degree and exploring career possibilities. Also, the program gives an opportunity to people from different backgrounds in the community to work together, blurring racial and cultural lines, as they help the underserved, economically disadvantaged Hispanic population in Burke County. This year, the program’s staff, volunteers, and board members also had representation from many different churches, including First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, New Day, and St. Charles.

Donations are appreciated and welcome . Checks can be made out to First Presbyterian Church, (with “Sweet and Savory Delights Bakery,” written in the memo line), 100 Silver Creek R oa d , Morganton, NC 28655

For more info rmation , visit the website at sweetandsavorydelights.org or on instagram at @sweetsavorydelightsbakery.

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