By the end of 2020 roughly 3 out of every 10 small businesses that were open in New Jersey at the beginning of 2020 had closed. Today we’re spotlighting a local bakery in Montclair, NJ (my town) for a behind-the-scenes look at how it managed to stay afloat in the pandemic.
Rachel Wyman is the owner of the Montclair Bread Company, a bakery that specializes in artisan bread, classic pastries and specialty donuts. It is also a beloved community gathering hub. In our conversation, Rachel shares the tumult of the first few months of the pandemic, having to furlough a majority of her staff and quickly rethink her business plan. We touch on the importance of having multiple revenue streams and ways to build a loyal community of customers.
Rachel grew up in Maryland and as a child watched her grandmother make wedding cakes. After graduating from the University of Florida with a French degree, she studied baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where she discovered a passion for baking bread. She has worked for Bread Alone Bakery, Amy’s Bread, and the Ritz-Carlton and has developed bread recipes for Wegmans, Whole Foods, Target, and Starbucks. She is a mom of three children.
Photo: Jim Fryer / Iri Greco BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com