Updated: Apr 4, 2020
It's March 25, 2020 and things have gotten seriously strange with the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that has effectively shut down most of the world. We are all on some version of social distancing or quarantine. To date, over 20,000 people have died and the numbers increase daily. Scary stuff. Wisconsin's Governor Tony Evers has placed a "shelter at home" order, for all non essential work & travel.
So, a few weeks ago, when the numbers started going up here in Wisconsin, I decided to put the bakery on hiatus. The thought was that I wanted to be able to emerge in a few weeks as a healthy helper to my family & friends here in Madison. Turns out, I got sick instead with an upper respitory virus and the worst asthma flare up I've ever had. I went by ambulance to UW Health yesterday where I was swabbed for COVID-19 and given IV steroids to support my breathing. I'm very, very, very lucky. UW Health pushed my test through today and it came back negative. So, I'm definitely going to be among those "at-risk" folks and stay home for the entirety of April instead of entertaining thoughts about going back to FEED to start baking anytime in the next four weeks.
This puts the bakery in an awkward position, financially. Since the bakery project is still so new (15 months now!), there is no rainy day fund and I would likely not qualify for any lending at this point since most lenders want to see two years of business profit. Family is helping keep a roof over my head and food on the table but I'd not to like to strain their resources either. I created a Go-Fund-Me, feeling a little self-involved since there are so many worthy charities that also need support at this time. However, the impetus was getting an email directly from the Go-Fund-Me company, saying that they are providing a matching grant for all small businesses that raise $500, they will match $500.
The $500 that I hope to raise will go towards a $115 dollar vendor fee for the Northside Farmer's Market starting May 3. It will let me pay to have my DATCP license renewed (about $150) for the year so I can continue to work out of FEED. Renting the kitchen for the first day will cost about $100. And the rest will go towards the food cost of butter, flour, sugar, milk along with paying my very-part-time helpers for that mornings work. If I meet the $500 grant, then I could entertain getting some additional equipment plus sock it away for a rainy day fund! Anyway ,thanks for your consideration and any amount is appreciated. I look forward to seeing you all Sunday morning at 9 on May 3rd at the Northside Farmer's Market!