One year on March 23
One year on from Lockdown and what happened to Mums Bake Cakes
Lockdown- One year on, and we look back today and remember March 23 2020 as the day that will change our lives forever.
Together with many families, we watched the UK Prime Minister lockdown the country, events canceled, schools closed, socializing stopped, feeling like our freedom was halted- whilst we handled the impending pandemic and the uncertainty of what might happen.
That night, our phones went mad, with customers canceling cakes for events planned in the coming weeks, to bakers removing themselves from being able to or even want to create cakes, and the realization of the enormity of the task ahead.
At the same time, we had bakers whose only income came from baking, who feared falling through the 'trap of government assistance,' who feared for being able to feed their families, and who wanted to find a way to continue in whatever we could help them with.
The country turned to online purchases but also wanted to support local businesses. With one-hour acceptable exercise and local shops closed, people were looking for solutions to order online 'keep safe' gifts to loved ones, grandparents wanted to send a gift to grandkids to encourage them to study at home, loved ones trapped in other countries wanted to send a 'little bit of love, and support.
We approached our bakers to find out whether they would transition into postal items, the requests were coming in thick and fast, our bakers were struggling with gaining ingredients. Lining up with others at the supermarkets, with reduced ingredients for baking on the shelves ( all school children had decided to bake whilst at home), our bakers turned to the 'millers' direct to get their flour, the farmers direct to get the eggs, and reduced the options they could offer to ensure they could complete orders and post or safe distance deliver locally- from brownies, cookies, cupcakes, small cakes, chocolates, and macarons the choice began to grow!
As the weeks turned to months the gifts required increased from initial gifts of hope to many messages of sadness, the condolences, the not being near you, the heartfelt messages of events being missed, special occasions delayed with the hope of 'this time next year!' To a turnaround of 'zoom' events being planned with cupcakes going to each person on the call, or a Zoom baby shower being celebrated with baby shower biscuits or gender reveal cakes to share. Birthday celebrated with party cake sent to all attendees. Corporate clients wanting to send cupcakes and brownies to staff working from home. The realization that this was continuing- meant people started to embrace a new way of working and socializing with cakes and cupcakes a special treat which everyone enjoyed!
Birthday cakes started to get extravagant, with amazing designs, but to only feed 4 or 6 people. Bakers explained if a cake could be frozen if there was too much - which allowed celebrations to carry on ( perhaps putting hot custard on the last bit of cake!)
The weeks wore on, and the gifts kept on being ordered, with a sudden influx of Afternoon tea deliveries, the bakers adapted and included afternoon teas, with various displays and choices available - customers receiving an afternoon tea to share with their loved one- was really going down a treat. from old to young, from individuals to nurses celebrating a tea together. There was nothing better than having a treat delivered to your door.
With one year on, we battled with whether it was right to stay open, we weren't a necessity!- but if you ask our customers whether they enjoyed the chance to send a tasty treat, or to share an afternoon tea with a colleague, or to see their parents faces as the gender was revealed of their grandchild whilst eating a cupcake on Zoom...you will understand why we stayed open.
When we hear that many of our bakers have ONLY survived because of the orders we sent through to them. That they could feed their families, BECAUSE we put orders their way and suggested ways to increase their business- we think we made the right call! Not everyone agrees with us, and we couldn't compete with Amazon on the speed of their deliveries- but we worked our socks off to make the best for every single customer.
We care about our bakers and their families, and at all times our bakers have decided if they want to work with us, we care about our customers and that their experience is a great one when using us. We're not perfect- and we make mistakes, but will always do our best to rectify them quickly and professionally.
We want to thank the new customers that have tried us this year, and we hope you use us again and continue to support our local professional bakers.
Here's to a brighter future for us all. A day to Remember that will stay in our hearts forever. Both Richard and I lost very dear loved ones over this time, so we feel the pain of the nation too at this time.x
Sending our Love and Best Wishes to all today
Richard and Paula