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San Antonio man turns tragedy into triumph: After losing his wife to cancer, he created a bakery to help others

Being healthy doesn't have to be a challenge. You can have your cake and eat it too... in moderation.

SAN ANTONIO — The pandemic brought tragedy to many people's lives, whether it was the loss of a job, a home or a loved one. For Rudy Ramirez, his life changed forever last spring.

On April 22, Ramirez lost his wife, Norma Gonzalez-Ramirez, after her courageous battle with cancer. For this couple, their fight for change happened before Gonzalez-Ramirez's death.

"In 2019 in December, my wife found out that she had cancer... on Christmas Eve as a matter of a fact," Ramirez said. "Her nurse practitioner called and kind of gave her the information and said we will see you January 6. Have a merry Christmas. Don't worry, everything's going to be good."

Ramirez's wife started her cancer treatment January 2020. The couple then made a pact that they would get healthy for their then 15-year-old son. 

Ramirez said he got a gastric sleeve to help aid him in his weight loss journey, and in the timespan of a year and a half, Ramirez lost 153 pounds. 

Ramirez created Shake and Bake in honor of his wife. He said he wants to give those suffering from illnesses such as diabetes and cancer a place to come and enjoy sweets, but not at the cost of their health. 

Shake and Bake is a family-owned bakery that specializes in keto-friendly and low-carb pastries. The shop also has various coffee options and protein shakes.

"We made this to help everybody out in trying to help them with cancer, diabetes or anything else they might have," Ramirez said. "Shake and Bake is built around trying to promote wellness."

Ramirez said he wants to help people who are encountering health issues.

"She couldn't give up the sweets, but towards the end she did, but by that time, it was too late," Ramirez said.

Ramirez said it was a blessing when it came to finding the space for Shake and Bake. The previous owner of the office space could not foot the cost of the bakery, therefore in addition to selling their business, they also sold all the equipment. 

"I feel that somebody might be looking out for us. I hope it's my wife looking out for us."

Shake and Bake is a way for Ramirez to give back to the community. 

"I really take it to heart and I really want people to better their lives as far as a healthier way of eating," Ramirez said. 

Shake and Bake's grand opening was August 2. It is located at 1416 Hildebrand Avenue.