Community
3:39 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Thieves Steal Money, But Not The Giving Spirit At Local Bakery

The owners of a burglarized bakery on the north side are refusing to give in to the bad guys. They are making the best of a bad situation by turning their loss into a gain for others.

Taylor Becken and Eric Lowe are 21 and 22 years old and together they own the C’est La Vie Bakery at Lockhill-Selma and West Avenue, which has been open about two months.

Each morning they arrive early in the morning to begin baking the day’s bread, but on Monday they found their front door smashed open. Becken said his mother was the first to see the shattered door.

"So she called me and we then immediately after that called the police department," Becken said. "They showed up cleared the building and then we got to come in and see what had happened. They had smashed our first window and grabbed our cashbox that was sitting right over there and were off in a matter of minutes."

Lowe said the bakery’s cash on hand for day to day operations was in the box.

"It was our petty cash, so it’s what we keep in the store overnight," he said. "So not a tremendous amount -- we make daily deposits, but it’s going to be noticeable in our bottom line."

Castle Hills Police found the discarded cash box not far from the scene of the crime and the money inside was gone.

"It was completely smashed open, the front of it was peeled away, the plastic ripped out of it," Becken said. "All that was left were the credit card receipts, but the person had smashed it over a water spigot and so everything was soaked."

Burglaries on small businesses are a major hindrance, but Becken said despite the damage, it didn’t stop them from opening their shop on time.

"We still opened, left the door open despite the fact that it had no glass in it and went on as we would our normal day," Becken said.

Far from normal was Lowe’s reaction to the crime, who said the burglary was an eye opener for him.

The front of C'est La Vie Baking Company before the door was replaced.
Credit Eric Lowe/Taylor Becken

"That event kind of broke into our lives and it made us pause and think about the month of December and how blessed we are to have good families and resources to start a business and things like that," Lowe said. "But how for a lot of people December is a time of struggle, how it’s really felt because of the shopping and the Christmas season and it so it made us pause and think about those kinds of people and re-double our commitment into giving back to the community."

They say they hope the smash and grab was an act of desperation by someone who had better intentions rather than selfish ill-will. The grand opening for the bakery is this Friday -- they already had a canned food drive planned to benefit the San Antonio Food Bank -- but now, after burglary, they say it has more meaning.

"We aren’t viewing this in bad terms," Becken said. "It’s unfortunate that it happened -- we definitely don’t condone it. Maybe this guy needed the money to feed his family, there’s always that possibility and so we’re taking advantage of the situation to being awareness to it."

For the budding entrepreneurs, the experience has been a life session. Lowe already graduated college with a degree in political science and theology and Becken is finishing his degree in criminal justice.

"It’s been kind of cool to see how intermeshed everything is," Becken said. "How much we can take -- what we would never think -- like, this is perfect for criminal justice. We got burglarized! I’m sitting here looking and these are all the things I should’ve seen coming all the things I should have seen coming."

"We’re never going to leave petty cash at the store," Lowe said. "We’ll probably invest in some kind of security system. [But] we can’t go all out, we’re a small bakery."

"We’re taking some advice from the authorities on how to secure the facilities," Becken added.

But when it comes to the major life lesson of the break in, you could say, 'C’est La Vie' -- that’s life.

The grand opening will be this Friday at 10:30 a.m.