Karina Cooper has a message for women who want to own their own business: go for it, even if it isn’t easy.

Author: Austin Walker

Published: 10:36 PM EDT March 15, 2023

Updated: 5:31 PM EDT March 22, 2023

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As we celebrate Women’s History Month, WCNC Charlotte wanted to take a closer look at some of the women-owned businesses in our area. 

The collection of confectionaries and savory selection behind the case has always been the dream for Karina Cooper. She was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, moved to Charlotte, and made this dream a reality. 

“It’s not a piece of cake, people always ask me and I say it’s not easy,” Cooper said.

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She said as a first-time business owner in the U.S., there were hurdles to opening the doors of La Dolcekca Bakery and Café. Many of them were because she was a woman and some people thought she was incapable. 

“They say you’re a strong woman and I say ‘yes I am,'” Cooper said. 

Her strength is also backed by the numbers nationwide. According to data shared by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, at least 40% of US businesses are owned by women. Similarly, data from NerdWallet showed businesses owned by Latina women grew by more than 87% from 2007 to 2012. 

It’s an all-woman show inside La Dolcekca as well.

“It’s me and my daughters and sometimes my mom,” Cooper said.

She hopes to use her experience as a business owner and Latina to inspire others. 

“Just try. It’s worth the risk, you can do it, we can do it,” she said.

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And it looks like Cooper’s message resonates; if you ask customer Kayjah Dotson, it’s working. 

“It’s inspiring, I want to have my own business someday soon,” Dotson said. 

When it comes to her pastries, Cooper won’t tell you her secret ingredients. But she will tell you the recipe to success. 

“Passion and believe in yourself,” she said. 

Contact Austin Walker at awalker@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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