Small Businesses In Arcadia


Madison Yee, Staff Writer

As we are still facing a downturn of events that have come alongside COVID-19, small businesses have also had to adjust and make compromises for rising challenges. In response to this, it is now the city’s priority to support small businesses based in Arcadia, so that we can help our community during these unprecedented times.

deCroupets Cake Sisters

A woman-owned business originally created by two sisters in 1998, this company spotlights everything from cakes, to cupcakes, to cookies, and more. The two women’s passion for baking has led them to make thousands of cakes for birthdays and weddings—each with a unique design catered to each customer. 

“The biggest change due to the pandemic is that we can’t have customers in our store. And that our main business is selling cakes and cookies for parties, which no one can have right now. We had to switch rather quickly to doing phone and email orders only, focusing on our social media and promoting small parties. We really focused on promoting happiness,” said co-owner Cheryl Marino from the Cake Sisters duo. 

Gokí Café

“Gokí” translates to “noble” or “royal.” This family-run cafe aims to honor its Mexican roots, and to provide for the city that has hosted its family for six years. 

“We opened in May last year and our family had already planned to open a year before we did. We had already bought equipment and many other things before the pandemic started. Our plan was to open in March, but for the same reason, we had to push the opening date to May. However, the hardest challenge for us has been to build a clientele during a time when many people are trying to stay home as much as possible, when a lot of people are working from home and when many offices, schools, gyms, etc. are closed,” said the owner, Patricia Webster.

Featuring the perfect, refreshing drinks to bear with the intense heat of California, the cafe offer coffees, teas, blended drinks, smoothies, aguas frescas, shakes, and licuados—all of which come in endless flavor options. And, if you happen to come with an empty stomach, prepare to indulge in their bakery and sandwich selections that are all made in-house. 

“Seeing and feeling how the community cares about these small businesses is very heartening, especially after putting so much effort on your business, always hoping you can survive the pandemic. One of the main things that keep us going is the fact that we have a very supportive community. A lot of people are trying to support small businesses, and if it was not because of this we might not even be open anymore,” Webster said.

White Springs Cafe

This Thai fusion restaurant that doubles as a vegetarian cafe offers a variety of dishes that are organic and non-GMO. With a background of building a happy and kind community, its website says that it is a place “for diverse individuals to work together, grow together, and thrive together.”

The empowering owner behind this facility, Na Sussman, and her story really shows how opening up this business brought her American dream to life. Previously, she had survived an illegal Thai immigrant sweatshop ring in Los Angeles. Her efforts have led her to stand up for changing the unlawful actions that have been done to immigrants. She truly is a hero, and her cafe has the best quality ingredients for everyone to try out!

Help Small Businesses

“The only way to stay in business is to get community support. The federal government help has been complicated and provided very little help to us. One of the most supportive groups was Downtown Arcadia. From the start they were actively supporting us and helped promote our business in the community,” said Marino. 

Speaking of which, Downtown Arcadia has been able to recognize small businesses and bring aid—which in turn has been greatly appreciated by small business owners. In addition to promoting these places through its social media platforms, the City of Arcadia held a lottery that awarded grants to 49 small businesses that were affected by the coronavirus. 

They were able to use the brand new Arcadia Works! Program which distributed $245,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds. The city has also lent extra resources and initiatives, which includes complimentary help in various aspects. Currently, they are working on upcoming grants and funding opportunities to set forth financial assistance.

“Supporting small businesses is very important, especially during these hard times when on top of having to stay updated on new rules, protocols, etc, you also feel worried and stressed, and hope that you will survive the pandemic. Since many businesses have not been able to hire employees or have been forced to let them go, many business owners have been pushed to keep their business going, sometimes on their own or with the help of their family,” said Webster.

The significance of lending a hand to small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic has not been stressed enough. While the community hopes that COVID-19 cases will decrease, make sure to check out these places and to do further research on other small businesses to support.