Bakery changes business model

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The pandemic has forced a small bakery to scale back and shift its focus.

Hopscotch opened a few years ago at W. John and S. Pine.

“We’ve had 15 people on staff usually, from high schoolers who are only here a few hours a week to almost full-time staff,” co-owner Kelly Whiting said. “And we had to cut back because we aren’t operating at the same scale that we were. We’re only open about half the hours that we were.”

The bakery also cut back its wedding cake program.

“We have been known for doing weddings for years,” Whiting said. “Big weddings, small weddings, all the weddings and doing a full bridal consultation. People aren’t really doing big weddings anymore. It’s not really something we can do, so we took that natural step back to doing our two-tiered cakes and they can be ordered the same way you’d order a scone, through Hopscotch Curbside.” 

In an effort to whip up more business in the early weeks of the shutdown, Hopscotch began building up its baking supply section. A week into Phase 4, it announced plans to not only continue serving as a bakery, but also as a corner market, featuring a variety of items including local breads and produce and vanilla extract made in-house.

In some ways, the sprinkles and spices that line the shelves speak to a growing truth of the quarantine.

“People are baking more since COVID came into our lives,” Whiting says. “And that one special spice, as silly as it sounds, might make that hard day into something better.”

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