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Money and Business

Family, faithful customers helping Sunshine Cafe weather COVID-19 storm

Sunshine Cafe SB
Ryan Fish/KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - One of the many small businesses struggling through the COVID economic crisis is Sunshine Cafe on upper State Street in Santa Barbara.

Manuel Plascencia and his brother Ramiro own the quaint cafe, which now along with other restaurants can no longer offer in-person dining under California's new regional Stay at Home order.

“It’s definitely challenging, so hopefully this is over soon," Manuel said Friday, admitting that some employees have been unable to work without in-person dining.

However, Manuel is remaining positive. He says his family helpings create another home at the restaurant. His sister and two sons also help work shifts when needed, helping Manuel handle long days.

Online delivery services have helped the cafe get by financially, as have dedicated customers. Manuel says there are several locals who order a meal from them at least weekly, while a set of brothers has ordered food from the cafe every single day since the pandemic began.

“Business has slowed down a lot, but luckily we keep getting regulars taking food to go, and with the [online ordering] platforms, delivery companies," Manuel said.

Manuel says he does not spend much time dwelling on the idea of potentially needing to shut down, instead focusing on how to remain in business. He also is channeling the power of positivity.

“Instead of seeing everything like ‘work,’ I’ll come in [every morning] and have fun," Manuel said. "Every day we are here, so we got to be positive. Thank God every day for being here. And then come out and enjoy life."

Sunshine Cafe is one of the restaurants listed on our 805 Local Links page, which shows businesses on the Central and South Coast that are open during the COVID crisis. People can learn more and read about how businesses are keeping their customers safe.

Coronavirus / Lifestyle / Santa Barbara - South County
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Ryan Fish

Ryan Fish is a reporter, sports anchor and forecaster for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Ryan, click here.

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