Wow! The last six weeks has been a testing time for us all but we South Africans are a resilient lot!
Lockdown reared its ugly head so quickly that most of us did not have any time to prepare for it nor appreciate the economic burdens it would place on us.
Here at Bake-A-Ton, the reduced business at our Pinetown shop and strict trading terms meant that we were unsure as to whether we were even allowed to trade at all. Most of our biggest customers were and still are unable to trade under the current regulations. We decided to put our full efforts into our online sales through the web-store, www.bakeaton.co.za, offering door to door deliveries. The response from all of you was incredible, and we had to get ourselves into action to commit to what we were offering.
What we found, was an entire community of you out there, stuck at home and eager to bake. From Moms & Dads stuck at home, trying to find something to entertain the kids or needing a lockdown birthday cake, to people with a new found interest in Artisan Bread baking. Many of you for whom baking is your bread and butter, were also trying to survive and needed your supplies.
The situation has certainly taken me back to 1994 when I started Bake a Ton, my goal being to supply affordable ingredients to home industries without the need to buy in bulk. During those days there were still many Home Industry shops in the malls, a sight sadly not as common as it used to be, as large chain stores have increasingly filled this demand.
What have we learnt from this period? The trend of home bakers is alive again, and the opportunity for home industry outlets can be re-ignited. There are so many ladies and men who could supply their speciality items, sweet or savoury, to the public via a home industry or directly from their home.
Recently we asked our customers to post pictures of what they had baked themselves, with their children, or as a family. There were over 100 posts and each one was fantastic. If we were to judge it would have been an extremely difficult task.
There is a hugely talented community of Home Bakers out there, so support your local community. Buy bread from your local Baker…or order your Child’s birthday cake from the lady down the road, baking from her Garage. As they say, "When you buy from a Small Business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy buy his team jersey, a Mom or Dad put food on the table or a student pay for University."
I want to thank all of our customers, new and old, for their support. It is a rough road we will have to navigate but there is opportunity out there. The only choice is to move forward with positivity.
I wish you all the best.