bake - July/August 2020 - 15

"Placing orders becomes routine, and the whole
concept of discovery is amazing. That level of
discovery is what excites our customers."
Bob Howland, chief digital officer, Dawn Foods

The path and time to innovation have greatly
collapsed, he adds. One important aspect involves
how bakeries and Dawn move forward together to
create new efficiencies and effectiveness.
"We all spend a lot of time being busy," Howland
says. "The ability to create something that has a positive outcome is becoming more and more important.
The concepts of impact and outcome are crucial.
You can apply our online ordering system in so
many ways."
Survival mode
A baker's life during a pandemic can follow many
different paths. In December, Andrew's Pastries in
Marion, Ohio, will celebrate its 25th year in business.
And to think this was almost just an unfulīŦ lled
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."

Closing his beloved business was never an option.

Bob Howlnd, chief

worn many hats over his time in the bakery business,

"Initially, people were just upset. They did not know

digital officer

including work in pastry shops, hotels, and high-end

which businesses were still open. When they learned

for Dawn Foods,

restaurants. All this experience came into play in the

they can still go to the bakery, they were happy."

sees many growth

COVID-19 world.

Immediately, Andrew's wife, who runs marketing,

"We are fortunate enough to be versatile. Positives

began scheduling specials every day, such as 99-cent

came out of negatives," he says. "We stayed open. I've

cream cheese brownies - "anything to bring people in."

had people come in who have never walked into our
bakery before."
In small-town Ohio, the local Panera Bread, Perkins
DAWN FOODS

Never an option

Versatility proved a critical answer. Swartz has

Biscuits and gravy, big sheets of focaccia, and anything
proved extremely popular to fans of the bakery.
Andrew used the same formula - using all butter and

comfort and joy of Andrew's Pastries. They pay full retail

milk powder - for biscuits and gravy that he learned

price for carry-out donuts, whereas before they may

while studying decades ago at the Culinary Institute of

have bought their donuts at the gas station.

America. They sold 15 gallons of sausage gravy a day.

business has always been carryout."

online ordering.

else they could produce in volume without a lot of labor

and Bob Evans closed, and local patrons turned to the

"It's just survival," Swartz says. "The majority of my

opportunities for

"It was crazy."
They also turned to making quiche and pepperoni

bakemag.com | JUL-AUG 2020 > 15


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bake - July/August 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bake/2014_12_01
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