A bakery that was put out of business during the coronavirus lockdown has reopened as an e-Commerce site, selling bread-making kits to legions of new home bakers
Spotted: At the start of the coronavirus lockdown in California, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse founder Aaron Caddel was trying to decide how to stay in business and keep his staff employed. Within the space of 72 hours, his bakeries had lost all their wholesale customers – around $3 million in business.
However, Caddel also noticed that the interest in home baking was soaring, at the same time as ingredients such as yeast and flour were becoming scarce. In response, he decided to pivot his entire business to start supplying home baking kits. Although he had no experience in e-commerce, Caddel did have a huge warehouse, a large Instagram following and a commercial supply chain. He turned all of this over to creating baking kits, which are now for sale.
Customers can order the bread kits, which include everything needed to make a sourdough starter and bake Mr. Holmes Bakehouse-style bread at home, to be delivered to their homes. Other kits available include scones and cakes, chocolate chip cookies, pasta and focaccia, with more in development. All of the kits cost $25 each.
Caddel has also turned one of his Los Angeles bakery locations into a corner store selling bags of flour and basic items such as toilet paper, eggs, sugar, milk, jam kits and deli meat. There is also a pay-what-you-can section of the shop for those who have lost their jobs.
Caddel told The Hustle that he decided on the new business model when he, “had single mothers on staff begging me to keep their jobs. So I just had to turn to solution mode: How can I create an insurance policy against this economy?”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Caddel is just one of many business owners who have had to radically alter their business models in order to keep their employees working. Other innovative adjustments we have covered recently at Springwise include an animal sanctuary that is ‘renting’ out its animals for Zoom meetings and a design firm that has developed cardboard desks for those forced to work from home.