Coronavirus Impact

March 12, 2020

To our loyal and generous supporters:

Bridge Bread Bakery is being affected by the pandemic:

  • SLU has cancelled on-campus classes and closed their dormitories, so we will lose their orders.
  • The Tower Grove Winter Farmers' Market is cancelled for the balance of the season.
  • Due to cancelled events, but there is no order for dinner rolls for the Chase Park Plaza next week.
  • We expect lower attendance at churches with resulting lower sales. We may even see churches 'going online' soon – with no Bridge Bread sales at all.

We have a good order this week and the Bakers will get good hours, but the future looks bleak. The first three items above account for about half of our orders. We will likely see cancellations of events for the Bridge Bread food truck and reduced sales at the Bakery on Cherokee. Revenue will likely be eliminated or substantially reduced for all our sales channels.

This is an urgent problem for us. Neither Bridge Bread Bakery nor the Bakers have financial reserves to see us through this crisis. We receive no government support and no ongoing funding from private parties, churches, or foundations. The Bakers cannot afford to miss paychecks and we cannot afford to pay them without a source of revenue. We can’t let this force them out of their homes and back on the street.

Can you help? We averaged $8,200 in monthly wages and payroll taxes in 2019. Our best guess is this crisis will last about two months and then recover slowly. We need $20,000 to see us through.

Our Bakers take pride in earning their wages and we will, as much as possible within safe practices, use this time in a way that provides meaningful work, which includes continuing to make bread for local pan-tries. We also intend to do deferred maintenance at the Bakery, invest time in training, take this as an opportunity to fine-tune our baking skills and explore new products. We may even have the opportunity to start up a donut line with soon-to-be donated equipment.

If you can help, here’s how best to make a donation:

Thanks to AB Mauri North America for matching total donations of up to $5,000 through April 10 to keep our bakers on their feet and off the street. Please contact me with questions. We appreciate your sup-port!

Best regards and blessings,

Fred M. Domke
President (volunteer)