Who would have thought 2020 would be the year it has shaped up to be? We’ve seen many things shaking our communities and lives. COVID-19 has been one of the biggest disruptors to life and business as we’ve known it. Our local bakery – like many local businesses – has been impacted. Here’s how our journey with COVID-19 has gone.
In late January, we started reviewing our supply sources and finding alternatives in case of supply chain interruptions. This early action allowed us to maintain a steady supply of needed resources for the bakery. By February 28th, we put an enhanced Health Advisory Policy in place increasing the frequency of surface sanitation and other health measures. Randy, a retired Army Food Inspector, served as our sanitation expert keeping our staff and customers safe. With his oversight and the heightened measures, we’ve been able to continue to work during COVID-19.
However, we were not immune from the impact of COVID-19. On March 16th, stay at home executive orders took effect and we had to furlough our employees and reduce store hours. And sadly, at the end of March, someone broke into our bakery. While we were heartbroken and endured many sleepless nights, we had faith that we would make it through. We’re thankful for friends and neighbors who rallied to encourage and support us.
Because we do not have a seating area and serve “to-go” baked goods, operations could continue. We, Gunilla and Randy, operated the bakery by ourselves six days a week through Easter. By Easter, it was clear this was going to last longer than expected. We adopted a 5-day schedule so we could take care of our own physical and mental health.
Local Frontline Heroes
Between March and April, thanks to your support during the COVID-19 shutdown, we were able to offer support our local heroes. We donated a cake to Onslow Memorial Hospital staff, donated cupcakes to the Jacksonville Police Department and offered free cupcakes to nurses and EMS workers. Thank you to all the frontline workers in health and public safety serving our community!
Good News in May
By May 1st, the team at 17Blue (who we highly recommend for all your marketing needs) launched our fabulous new website. They went above and beyond our expectations in creating the site and we can’t thank them enough! We, like many small businesses applied for financial assistance early on, but after weeks of no news we had basically given up on getting approved. But on May 5th some financial relief finally arrived. We brought three full time employees back immediately and can’t wait for the rest. God is Good!
What About the Weddings?
Though most of our brides have been able to postpone or reschedule their wedding dates, there have been a few that unfortunately could not. We’ve worked with each bride and two decided to be pay forward a blessing. Megan (a nurse) donated her wedding cake and cupcakes to OMH on Mother’s Day weekend which was also Nurses National week. Alex also donated part of her wedding cake purchase to OMH on Father’s Day weekend. She also donated part of it to our bakery so that we “could continue to operate” during COVID-19. We appreciate these amazing women.
Thanks to Our Community
You, our community, have been so supportive of our small business throughout this pandemic. We thank you for all the prayers and patronage during this time. As we continue to recover together, we reflect on all the blessings we have been given even when it felt like all we could see was chaos.
Love thy neighbor. Pray for each other. Don’t take anything for granted.
As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, we take all of this to heart and take some time off with our families. The bakery will be closed from July 4th through July 15th while we relax on a much needed VACATION! But we will see you back on the 16th when we will be refreshed and ready to continue …making life delicious!