Keep coming alive - that’s been my motto all year. I don't know if you've heard the song by Penguin Prison, but it's basically my theme song recently. Find it here. Every time I feel like I’m in the worst place I can possibly be or that I’ve ever been at the bakery, I magically get a break. I get a busy day, I find help, I get a large Christmas order from my friends at Organic Valley, we finally sell out our first day on Gold Belly, or I land a freelance job. These are all little victories from last year that have kept us going all year long.
This past year has been all about survival for many people and for many businesses. Yes we’re still open, but just because a place has survived until now and is still open, it doesn’t mean they’re doing great. It doesn’t mean they’re back to normal, and it certainly doesn’t mean they don’t need help. So while I know you all have supported the places you love during quarantine and after, just keep that in mind. It's not over yet, and please keep supporting your favorite spots because they still need it.
The fighters have lasted this long, the ones willing to make sacrifices in their personal lives, the ones giving everything to their business like they did the first day they opened it. The ones getting the word out, marketing the hell out of their business, and helping their customers who have helped them for so many years. I’ve had a really challenging year and I’ve had to make many difficult decisions as a business owner. I’ve lost faith, I’ve lost the pure and organic feelings I had for my business as they've become clouded with frustration and fear, and I’ve even made peace with shutting it down if that’s what the universe had in store for me. I've even thought, why did I do this? If I just had a normal job I could at least claim unemployment! If you own a business then you know exactly what I’m talking about, you’ve thought of it all; no matter what your true feelings are, no matter how much you love what you do, every feeling has run through you at some point. And you’re exhausted from them all, from all the thinking, running different scenarios in your head, and trying to predict what might happen and how you'll react to it as quickly and as efficiently as possible. But no one knows what’s going to happen and that is scary, especially for seasoned businesses who can usually predict what what will happen or can weather a storm. This is more than a storm.
I’ve made my living from the bakery for the last 10 years. Yeah I’ve had some rough months here or there where I couldn't take a paycheck, but I always knew there was a light if I stuck it out long enough and sacrificed during the now. I always knew we’d come alive again. And every time I made the sacrifices, we came out on top. And I've been doing that for this whole last year and I feel like it’s been going on forever, how much longer will it last? With the recent stay at home order in California just being extended without an end date in sight, I was starting to get really nervous. Not just for me, but for the people I employ. We are so remote in Mammoth, and we plan for our shoulder seasons. But, we don't plan on them lasting all year long. We heavily depend on the busy seasons and holidays to carry us through the year normally.
That’s when my good friend Matt told me what Barstool Sports was doing for small business. I was surprised I didn’t see it sooner, seeing that Delaney and I both love and follow sports. But, I’ve been so busy lately with work that I’m just on social media to post for work and that’s it, no time for scrolling. So I applied anyways, and I still can’t even believe that we were chosen yesterday! I am so thankful, grateful, surprised, humbled, and most of all happy. I think I had my first truly restful sleep last night since February 2020! If you want to learn more about the Barstool Fund and what they're doing for small business, listen to the podcast here. Erika even hosted me and let me share a bit more about Dessert'D.
Yes we are open, and yes we’re still going, but yes we also can use some help. I think everyone needs help right now, it's just a matter of how much. And I am just so thankful Barstool chose us and wants to help us! I asked Barstool to help with our payroll so I didn’t have to cut anyone’s hours or lay anyone off. I have a small staff and many of them have second jobs as well. And my main girls were both laid off from their second jobs, and I have been their only job the past couple months. They depend on me just as much as I depend on them. And the bakery depends on them for it to stay open. Especially with me doing more freelance jobs so I can live, I can't be there all day. But, I am still there almost every day, doing all the things I normally do. But, I still need my girls to make it work. So I asked for what we needed. So many people need help, and so many people are struggling in different ways. This is the way we’re struggling, so this was what I asked for. I didn't ask for money to pay me, just to pay my staff.
I’m sharing our story because you guys are asking me and want to know. I've gotten messages from businesses asking how I got through, what did I say, what did I ask for? It's simple, I just told them our story and asked for what we needed. I'm sharing this in the hopes that maybe you will see this and want to donate to the Barstool Fund. If you donate, it will allow Barstool to help more small businesses just like mine. It will help relieve some people who work really hard for nothing sometimes besides the love of their trade and their staff. Barstool will help them in the way they need it, and everyone needs something different because everyone’s business is different. I personally donated what I could to the fund, which isn't a lot given the fact that I haven't been able to make my living from the bakery like normal. But, if you can donate then please do! Every little bit helps someone, and lots of little bits make up a lot! Some people need more money, but some people don't need a lot of money, they just need a little, and that little bit can be the difference in them making it through.
Thank you to all of our customers who have continued to support us this past year! And if you're a regular customer and are struggling because of the Covid shut downs, then please reach out to us as we want to continue to help you. If you need something (a birthday cake or just a pie because you usually buy one every week and just can't right now), just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I can say that I personally know all of you that come in frequently; I know your kids, I know your families and we want to be here for you in whatever way we can be. Thank you to everyone!