“Like most businesses, we had to close down,” says Nicci Doyle, of her Backwoods Bakery & Café in Sundre, Alta, which, like most of Alberta's food-related establishments, has been significantly affected by the pandemic.
The bakery, which offers a wide variety of freshly made sandwiches, salads, soups, daily lunch specials and baking, which opened in May 2018, is located just off the town's main street.
“Sundre is home, and we wanted to be able to offer a place for people to come, sit and relax and enjoy a good cup of coffee, homemade food, and great service,” says Nicci Doyle.
She says when non-essential businesses had to close in March, there was the option to stay open for takeout, but "after a lot of thought, I felt it was best that we fully close to keep all of the Backwoods team and their families safe and healthy until we had more answers. The decision did set us back from a financial perspective; however, we got in some quality family time.”
Doyle says the well-being of her employees and customers has, and always will be, the first priority.
"I made a decision to open a few weeks later than what the government allowed, as I wanted to see what would take place, if anything, after the May long weekend. We are practicing social distancing and, as always, cleanliness and disinfecting are at the top of the list.”
She calls the COVID-19 support systems a blessing, saying, “It was a blessing that the banks worked with us to defer mortgage payments, and the government put some assistance in place. Now that we have re-opened, the support of our community has been great and truly appreciated.”
“We are now open to the public and would love to see you! If that cannot come in right now, we are also doing takeout. We are a phone call away for any inquiries as to what we have to offer, and you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as we post our daily specials there. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their continued support, not only for the support of Backwoods Bakery & Café, but for supporting all the businesses in town," says Doyle.
Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Great West Newspapers. This story was funded by the Facebook Journalism Project Supporting Local News Coverage of COVID-19 Program via the Local Media Foundation.