How an Ohio bakery has survived the coronavirus pandemic

Sep 14, 2020, 15:25 PM by John Unrein

bakery customers

A baker’s life during a pandemic can follow many different paths. Later this year in December, Andrew’s Pastries in Marion, Ohio, will celebrate its 25th year in business. And to think this was almost just an unfulfilled dream.

As the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head across America’s Heartland, this independent retail bakery located 120 miles southwest of Cleveland nearly shut its doors for the very last time.

“Overnight, we lost $100,000 worth of business,” recalls owner Andrew Swartz, adding that the bakery lost all its wholesale accounts in a single day. “That’s a big chunk.”

Versatility proved a critical answer. Swartz has worn many hats over his time in the bakery business, including work in pastry shops, hotels, and high-end restaurants. All this experience came into play in the COVID-19 world.

“We are fortunate enough to be versatile. Positives came out of negatives,” he says. “We stayed open. I’ve had people come in who have never walked into our bakery before.”

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