Owner of Simply Baked Catering talks business

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by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Despite an uncertain pandemic economy, one local business appears to be thriving. Winchester catering business, Simply Baked Catering, has recently undergone some renovations designed to give staff and customers some extra room. Owner Cheryl Beasley corresponded with the Times about the business side of the expansion.

“We simply had to move equipment over to the other side and put in a couple of plugs,” Cheryl said. “We also had to put up a partial dividing wall for the bathroom, to separate the bathroom from the customer area.” The expansion involved making more active use of an adjoining unit in the building which Simply Baked had previously just been using for storage. Cheryl noted that customers have been very supportive of the expansion, as it provides more space and quicker service, but such customer service is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to keeping a business operating during a pandemic.

“We lost 53% of our business in March, 2020,” Cheryl recalled. “We pivoted [by] controlling our labour, offering takeout meals, sandwiches, and custom baking. We came up with Bagel Thursday, where you can order unique bagels and cream cheese every Thursday. We also have Pie of the Month club – you can buy the whole year, or just one pie that you like for a certain month. We partnered with My Local Markets to expand our market.”

These new ideas have kept things fresh for Simply Baked and have kept the business thriving, even during COVID-19. In October, the Times covered the story of “Bagel Thursdays” in more detail, particularly a promotional t-shirt campaign in which $5 from every t-shirt sale was donated to the local Community Food Share leading up to Christmas. In the wake of the recent expansion, Cheryl made it clear that at least one positive thing came out of the pandemic.

“People are so amazing at supporting local and discovering the gems in their own backyard,” she said. Simply Baked Catering celebrated its 5th anniversary on January 24. 

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