Living on the Edge: ‘Bethel is my Church’

My name is Diego Tantardini. I own and run Tantardini’s Bakery and Deli in Redding. I opened this business five years ago because I have passion for food and I want to share my passion with the fantastic community of Redding.

I’m from Italy but I love Redding and the USA like I do my home country.

Owning a small business is hard. For two years I used to wake up at 3:45 a.m. and not go home till 6 p.m. after running deliveries, getting supplies and doing office work six days a week.

The last three years I’ve been taking it a bit easier, starting at 6 a.m., and finishing at 5-5:30 p.m.

It is a long day, but it is providing food on the table for my family.

There is a group of people who are boycotting my business because my family and I go to Bethel Church. Basically they say I’m “Bethel affilated”.
Affilated means : ” Of a subsidiary group or a person officially attached or connected to an organization”, which doesn’t apply to Tantardini’s because we are not affiliated with Bethel.

We go to church at Bethel and are proud to! But my business is owned 100% by myself. Bethel DOES NOT take any interest in my business (this is public record, and you’re welcome to verify it), Bethel DOES NOT pay for my visa, and I DO NOT pay Bethel.  I just simply go to their/my church.

I pay my taxes, I hire employees, I create wealth and contribute to the Redding community.

When the Carr Fire was happening we provided free food. When the Coronavirus broke out I decided to supply and deliver personally for free to elderly who needed it (it’s on Facebook, you can look it up).

Every two  years I have the obligation to submit applications to renew my visa with the risk of being denied if my business doesn’t perform. I live always on the edge. I cannot fail! The visa application costs $6,000, two weeks of work, and I have to produce 4-inches thick of paperwork.

Bethel does not vouch for me, because we don’t do business, it is just my church.

I love the USA and I love my country. I’m a veteran. I served as a Corporal Major in the Italian Paratrooper, which is the elite corp in Italy, and I would serve in the USA as well if necessary. I fought for my freedom and I love the USA because it is the land of the free.

Why are there people out there, who because they don’t like Bethel, want to hurt my business? I did not hurt you.  I do not know you. I never met you.

I serve everybody who enters my shop. I do not ask where you go to church before serving you.

In this state of chaos most of the people in this world came together because all of us suffered because of the pandemic, and the solidarity brought us together, erasing all the differences.

I would have those who hate Bethel Church consider that boycotting my business because I choose to go to a church is discrimination. Remember when you post on social media saying,”I do not support Tantardini’s because they’re Bethel affiliated,” you are hurting my business, which in turn is hurting my ability to provide for my family.

I do not know you personally, but just know that if by chance I see you on the road and you need help, I will help you. I would not ask you where you go to church before helping you. I understand and respect your opinion. If you do not like Bethel, you have the right to do so.

Finally, I want to close by informing you that boycotting my business is  sabotaging me on a personal level, and you are hurting another human being who is trying to honestly provide for his family.

Enough is enough. Please stop.

If you have something against me personally, I will be happy to talk face to face and have a constructive conversation about our differences. I will be happy to have you contact me so we can talk.

God bless America and God bless Redding

Diego Tantardini came from Milan, Italy, to Redding, Calif., in 2012 with his wife and two children. The Tantardinis came to Northern California in order to join Redding’s world-renowned Bethel Church and attend Bethel’s ministry school.

Back in Milan, while still in high school at the age of 15, Diego started working in a bakery. He learned to craft beautiful breads using only the purest ingredients, with no sugar or preservatives. He discovered a passion for baking, as well as a natural talent for sales and building customer relationships.

Tantardini’s Bakery is located at 2931 Churn Creek Rd., Redding, Calif., 96002. It is open 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and can be reached at (530) 645-8958. Food can be purchased in person, or via DoorDash delivery.

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