Business thriving after Houston teen’s social media pleas for help saves her family’s bakery

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HOUSTON -- Jackie Garza, 18, couldn't stand by any longer as her dad's bakery business, 'La Casa Panaderia,' was on the verge of closing.

"My dad would make a fresh batch of bread every day and the shelves would stay full. We were losing bread, we were losing ingredients, we were on a total downfall. It was so heartbreaking," Garza said.

The bakery and cafe is a small operation run by the Garza family -- dad in the bakery, mom serving the food, brother at the cashier -- and now Jackie as the marketing guru whose social media pleas for help have boosted business significantly.

"Everything's homemade from the chips you get when you're greeted, to the filling in the bread and in your empanada. I just didn't want him to give up," Garza said.

On Dec. 6, Garza tweeted out a video message of her dad in the restaurant's kitchen that said,

"Hey yall my dad has a little Panaderia/ restaurant. He makes all of the pan dulce himself. He been thinking about closing but I can’t let that happen, spred the word 1 RT could bring in a potential customer! La casa bakery and cafe 1002 Hogan street 77009!!"

In just four days, Jackie's tweet gained nearly 60,000 retweets and, of course, brought in dozens of new customers.

Some are driving more than an hour from The Woodlands, Spring and Katy to help keep the Garzas in business.

"We drove over 45 minutes to get here and we told all our friends to come, too. The food is really good and the bakery is my favorite," Lil Villasquez said.

Jackie's tweets are even gaining support from Dynamo players and people beyond the Houston area.

In fact, the place has gotten so popular, they're making up to triple the amount of food and bread they used to. They're now even working on hiring more people to help with the influx of customers.

"I'm really proud of her. I'm surprised. I never thought that this would happen," Trinidad Garza, the owner, said.

"This is the first time ever. I've never not seen that filled with bread unless we weren't open. I was so surprised and I'm so proud," Garza said.

This Heights High School senior hopes to one day run the bakery herself. And judging by the success of her marketing campaign, the future of La Casa seems to be in pretty good hands.