Leonard’s Bakery, a local icon for its malasadas, seemed the perfect place to gauge business, if it weren’t for the lines. Densely packed, a steady flow of people filled the line from register to door. Outside, people stretch out on benches and the hoods of cars, hunched over their sugary puffs. Compared to the other stores on the block, business at Leonard’s is cooking.
I weaved between the hungry customers, trying to flag one of the two bakery employees down. They scrambled between the cakes and the donuts with pink pastry boxes. When I ask if I can ask about their business, they blink quickly for a moment, as if they barely have time to realize the question. They don’t have time to talk, but it seems the answer is clear: Even in recession, malasadas mean business.