It was March 18th and we were facing the same struggles as every other establishment: decreased sales and scared customers. We looked to Cara, our amazing Sysco Marketing Associate, for assistance and posed the tough questions to her as we looked for guidance. Should we try to stay open or close our doors until this was over?
We discussed the balance of social responsibility and financial need. She pointed out the importance of asking our community what they needed during this difficult time. We immediately fired up a Facebook post asking our followers that exact question:what do you need? We were blown away by the hundreds of responses we received. People said they needed grocery staples that they couldn’t find in the stores anymore. They requested flour, sugar, yeast, milk, meat, rice, and many other items we had never envisioned providing for retail. Could we really be a bakery that sells yeast and flour? Amidst a pandemic, we certainly would be, and our pop up grocery store formed itself.
We were flooded with requests for basic needs items from our community. Every day we find a way to streamline the way we now have to do business. The pop-up concept has allowed us to not only survive but thrive. Our sales have increased, and we’ve kept all of our staff employed. Most importantly, we’ve met the needs of our community. Every day we’re brought to tears by the gratitude and support of our community. We’ve received cards to customers giving us something they baked to thank us for staying open and meeting their needs. We are beyond grateful for Cara’s suggestion and the unwavering support she’s given us as we enter this uncharted territory.