bake - July/August 2020 - 34

feels like every weekend is another excuse for families
to get together, which means lots and lots of eating.
During a pandemic, this simply isn't the case. People
aren't traveling, gatherings are being limited in size by
the state and far too many pies are being left uneaten.
"Easter was most definitely impacted," Cheng says. "In
April, when the city was fully on lockdown, sales were
pretty much the bottom."
Holiday weekends tend to drive large sales boosts
for bakeries, so by avoiding gatherings in order to stay
safe, we also end up passing on the baked goods we
normally buy. As COVID-19 cases began dropping in
New York City, it started to feel like there might be a
light at the end of the tunnel. For the Dominique Ansel
Bakery, that light really shined through on Mother's Day.
"The Cronut's 7th birthday fell on Mother's Day this year,
and coincidentally, it was the very same day Dominique
became a father for the first time."
Not all is dark in the time of a pandemic.
Optimism going forward
"By continuing to patronize us and spreading the word
on social media and word of mouth that we stayed open
- we definitely had a lot of local community support,"
Elsen says. "Phase two has allowed us to put out our
benches and we intend to add outside seating.
New York City has started lifting its restrictions to
businesses and individuals in phases beginning in June.
While phase one of reopening didn't have much of an
impact on the food and drink industry, phase two allowed
for outdoor seating at restaurants. It doesn't let most
establishments operate at full capacity just yet, but it
provides a very welcome boost to all.
Dominique Ansel

Adapting to changes

"We were able to reopen our outdoor garden area,

Bakery celebrated

"There has been a significant exodus of people from

but it's still a very limited amount of outdoor seating

the 7th anniversary

the city, and no tourism, so our client base has been

there currently," Cheng says of their SoHo location.

of the Cronut this

reduced," Elsen says. While staying at home has hurt

"We've always been proud to be a part of our SoHo

year, when the

business, the lack of people visiting New York City also

neighborhood, and it's wonderful that New York always

plays a huge role.

supports New York."

bakery owner also
became a father for

In 2019, New York City welcomed over 65 million

As spring rolled into summer, there was a different

the fist time.

visitors, according to NYC and Company, the official

sound coming from the streets. The sirens have stopped,

destination marketing organization and convention and

and the laughing men are back at their sidewalk table,

visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City.

enjoying their cappuccinos. Playgrounds are open and

Since March, tourism has essentially come to a halt.

filled with mask-wearing children. New York City has

Times Square is empty. Broadway is dark. Lady Liberty

been on life support and is far from recovered, but we

stands on an island by herself.

are starting to see it come alive again.

Typically, spring is a season that bakers love. From

Kevin Lawless is a New York City resident and a 2011 grad-

Easter to Passover to Mother's Day and Father's Day, it

uate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

34 < JUL-AUG 2020 | bakemag.com


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bake - July/August 2020

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http://digital.bakemag.com/sosland/bake/2019_03_01
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http://digital.bakemag.com/sosland/bake/2019_01_01
http://digital.bakemag.com/sosland/bake/2018_12_01
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