When the coronavirus pandemic began in March, two local high schoolers turned their unexpected free time into a popular bread-baking business.

Vanessa Perez, a senior at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn and her brother Jaime, a sophomore at Paul VI in Chantilly, last year began baking bread and delivered it to friends in the Brambleton area. Jaime needed to practice driving in order to earn his driver’s license, so the concept of a bakery delivery service seemed like a good option.

Vanessa, who is the primary baker, practiced different techniques taught by her mother, Blanca. After receiving rave reviews from multiple friends and neighbors, they decided to start a business, and Bread by Blanca was born.

The business has taken off, Vanessa said. They produce about 30 orders a week in between online classes and schoolwork.

The Perezes offer nine different bread options in the online shop, the most popular so far is the braided milk bread, Vanessa said. The other is the Conchas, or traditional Mexican sweet bread. Customers also enjoy the pesto star bread, which they say tastes like pizza, as well as donuts, chocolate covered strawberries and other seasonal specials.

Vanessa says she favors the sweet bread because it’s something her mom always made for them.

“We have had it since we were little and never found one that is better than what we make here,” she said.

They have created social media pages on Facebook and Instagram where customers can find a link to place an order. Prices for the products range from $6 to $12.

Vanessa will be heading to college in the fall, so they are hoping to earn as much as possible before then to help pay for some school essentials.

For more information or to place an order, visit Bread by Blanca on Facebook or Instagram.

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