Are cake shops considered essential business in Covid-19?
There are fear and there are uncertainties. The moment “Circuit Breaker” was announced, all my baking friends were asking each other, “are we essential?”, myself included. Thankfully, Straits Times clarified our doubts.
Now that we figured we can still continue baking for customers who have pre-ordered for this season, I still have a fear. In our business of specialty cakes, the ingredients we used are mostly imported from United States, European countries and Australia. With shipments held in lock down cities and delay in packages, some of our key essential ingredients to make our cakes are running low on supply. And I don’t mean normal wheat flour, eggs, butter and sugar, because at Delcie’s, we don’t use them at all.
This is the time when we activate our crisis control measures. For a small local company of 10 employees, who would have thought a crisis control business continuity plan would be so essential, until now.
What if we do not have a bakery business continuity plan? Am I too late to work on this?
“Better late than never” as we would pat ourselves on our shoulders, to provide some comfort in times like this. We must first understand that tightening measures are required to protect our people and the community we live in. All I can do now, is to keep adding more contingency action plans as we progress and learn from this Covid-19 situation.
Although bakery and cake shops are considered essential in eyes of Singaporean’s lifestyle food list, we faced more stringent working hours, stricter control over social distancing and now, a new bill has just been passed to prohibit any forms of social gatherings of any size in both private and public spaces during this COVID-19 period.
This can greatly affect business. How much longer will this Circuit Breaker last will depend on how many Singaporean’s would cooperate to stay home and avoid interactions with non-household members to break the spread.
No big birthday parties, no weddings definitely and no longevity birthday dinners (don’t even think about it), leaving only smaller units of families requesting for smaller cakes.
Hairdryer will be the next essential item to have at home.
Thankfully, we have small cakes. And we have baby smashing cakes for creative parents who may want to go crazy for their babies’ one year old cake smashing photo shoot at home. No parental leave required at this point so first-time parents can have more time to plan and have fun with your babies. Did I mention that we were voted second year running “Best Baby Friendly Cakes” in Singapore?
And for parents like myself with 2 toddlers, home is like a war zone. Since I foresee myself being stressed out with the management of my 2 toddlers’ home learning schedules (because canes are out of stock right now and school seems to thinks that all parents are not working from home), I definitely need desserts to help me relax after I put them to bed. After all, stressed is desserts spelled backwards!
After spending the last 3 weeks working till wee hours, indulging in my vegan & sugar-free Dalgona coffee (checkout my homemade video) that kept me brightly and strangely energetic through 3-5 a.m. each night, I constantly have to type (and re-type) updated protocols, planning Mothers’ Day products, keeping my teams updated with new policies and editing my website to reflect our island-wide home delivery platforms, circuit breaker operating hours and our Stay Home Desserts and Cakes bundle sets.
Tonight felt like the final night when I need to ensure everything is perfect before my kids start to stick themselves onto me like superglue (no more childcare service starting tomorrow).
I like to think I tried my best, whether I sleep or not. I want to retain all my 10 employees who are everything to me because each of them plays a different key role in running this unique sensitive bakery alongside with me. Together, we will come out strong on the other side when this entire Covid-19 blows over. There is never a time that I would forget that I am responsible for their livelihoods. They depend on me to make the best decision for them and for the company. I will remain resilient for all my customers and suppliers who supported my bakery over the last 11 years.
Stay home, not just for the front-line healthcare workers, but also for the sake of our economy because nothing will move if the Covid-19 situation gets worst in Singapore. Stay home for the local businesses you support so that they stay open even after this crisis. Meantime, if you’re not working, enjoy precious family bonding time like never before. Moreover, it’s the best time to explore all the local food at the comfort of your homes without having to queue through grease and oil in the food market or pay for service charges in the restaurant. Food promotions are everywhere!
When Singapore recovers from this virus, we will never be the same like before, but such a forceful change will bring in new opportunities and open new doors for those who remain creative.
Adjust, Adapt, Appreciate and we will all Ace this crisis together.
Love & Peace,
Sensitive Chef and Director of Delcie’s