By John Ramos

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – A new business next to San Jose City Hall just opened and is causing a lot of excitement. It’s not some giant tech company bringing millions of dollars in tax revenue. It’s just a bakery, but it’s offering something that’s also in short supply — hope.

Look on just about any block and you see it.

“All these closed buildings, it’s sad… just sad,” said Pauline Zanger, visiting San Jose from her home in Hollister.

But Monday, there was something making people happy — the Grand Opening of Jamie Whitmire’s Holy Cannoli Café. The phone had been ringing off the hook…

“I’m in the middle of my Grand Opening. It’s day one and it’s lunchtime and we’re super slammed…” Whitmore explained to a customer trying to place a Valentine’s Day order on opening day.

People were lined up outside to buy the custom made cannoli, mini-pies and made-from-scratch breakfasts and lunches. But more than anything, they came to support her for having the guts to open at all.

“She did not let this pandemic stop her,” said friend and customer, Davina Hernandez. “This was a dream of hers and she fought all the way through. And she pushed through and now she’s finally having her Grand Opening.”

Whitmire planned to open back in March and then again in November.

“And then we got set back again and I said, screw it. This is my baby, this is my dream and if I give up right now then there’s no story to tell,” said Whitmire.

To customer Suzan Slater it’s more than just a story.

“To see something opening like this, it brings warmth to my heart because, you know, there’s hope… there’s a chance and I think it’s great that we can support it,” Slater said.

Before the pandemic, it was supposed to be a supplement to Whitmire’s catering service, but with all that business dried up, the café will now be their survival.

“I’m not scared, I’m not afraid,” Whitmire said. “I am going to get through this and I’m going to be a survivor and I’m going to be the story at the end of all of this that’s going to be a huge success. People will come back later and say, she did it…she did it.”

But she doesn’t have to wait for later. They’re already saying it.

“She didn’t let a pandemic get her down or say, ‘I can’t do this, we’re never gonna do this,’” said customer David Hernandez. “She kept focus of where she wanted to go and she did it. She did it.”

Whitmire says she will get the café’s website up and running and begin taking online orders as soon as she gets through the Grand Opening. Visit http://www.holycannolisj.com