What’s the status of your business? Did you have to pivot, go online, temporarily close?
We closed our Tori's Bakeshop storefront March 22. We were able to act quickly in the following week to build a very basic online ordering and delivery service, offering most of our Bakeshop items. We have full cakes that we can write a special message on, cupcakes and cookies, scones, and even our cruffin! We also introduced cookies and cinnamon buns that you can bake at home, which we're pretty pumped about. So even in the midst of having to be compact in a lot of ways, we're still working on different ways to creatively expand.
What’s been the hardest part of this pandemic for you?
We stayed open as long as we felt we could safely do so in order to keep our staff at full pay for as long as possible. Closing our doors and laying off ninety percent of our staff was a decision we ultimately had to make as responsible members of our community, but it was so hard. It has been very difficult to not be able to give them any indication of when we will be able to get back to full production. We also offer wholesale. It's been equally as hard to see our friends and colleagues closing up too. But it is amazing to see everyone supporting each other and reworking their businesses to create new systems.
What can we as a community do for you?
We feel incredibly supported by our community. As soon as we opened our online ordering system, the response was overwhelming. We keep waiting for the orders to slow down but they haven't yet, which is so moving. I believe the community sees the value in independent businesses and are making it a priority to still support us. Their gratitude, excitement, and joy so clearly shows how something as simple as baked goods is an important comfort in this time of uncertainty, and that energy helps keep us invigorated. It is vital.
What advice would you give women?
As women, we take on so many roles, all of which have become intensified during this stressful event. I think the most important thing for women to remember is that, more than being "mothers," or "teachers," or "bakers," or "caregivers," we are still HUMAN first. The pressure to still have some kind of photo-worthy production, or result, or to be able to show that this time has been worth it, filled with value - it's bullshit. You don't need to "be your best self." Just get through the day and know that is enough. You are enough, even if you didn't shower or leave your couch today.
What is your greatest hope right now?
I hope we can use what we've learned to help us grow. It has been a funny balance, shrinking and expanding at the same time, but that creativity has been crucial to push us out of our comfort zone, and examine new ideas, ways of doing things, who we are, and who we want to be. We've learned lessons of kindness and patience, that we don't all need as much as we think we do, and it's my greatest hope that maybe we'll remember that on the other side of this.
What are the 3 things keeping you sane?
1. I walk with my dog Ollie in all the places we can still walk, and sweat when I can, which helps my brain turn off the usual running tape of fears and uncertainty.
2. Turning off my phone helps with this too...
3. ... and having a routine that gives me a few less things to think about in a time when we have to think so much harder about small motions we previously took for granted.
If I had to choose a fourth, it would be wine. A fifth would be fresh sourdough.
SEE MORE FROM TORI AND TORI'S BAKESHOP ON INSTAGRAM HERE.