Baking through a pandemic

Rockland woman turns to baking after being temporarily laid off amid COVID-19

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 9:30pm

    ROCKLAND — The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in scores of people seeing a reduction of income, including Rockland resident Shelby Crispin. 

    Crispin was recently temporarily laid off from her specialized health care position, which requires the sharing of several material objects making it unsafe for people within the office during the pandemic. With the need of sharing material objects, telemedicine was not an option. 

    As a way to spend her time and earn some income during the pandemic, Cripsin turned to baking, a familiar passion of hers she learned at a young age from her grandmother. 

    “It made sense in these crazy times to try and find bright spots in the stress and uncertainty that seems to be constantly hanging overhead,” she said. “Baking is not only a bright spot for me, but also for friends who order items, because what else is better than a gooey cookie right from the oven? I figured this was the best way to provide a bit of joy for others and continue having a structure and purpose while I'm out of work.” 

    Immediately after posting to her social media accounts on Friday, March 20, Crispin had five orders placed for her baked goods from a menu of farmhouse bread boules, sandwich loaves, focaccia squares, scones, muffins, pizza dough, brownies, cookies, cake, cheesecake and granola bars. (Crispin is also open to baking items not listed on her menu.) 

    “I was a little overwhelmed, honestly; I briefly panicked wondering if I could deliver that volume of goods,” she said. “I made a baking schedule to follow and delivered all the items Sunday and [Monday].” 

    Family and friends from Virginia, her native state, have assisted by making financial donations to provide for individuals in the community who are in need. 

    Crispin noted this is not a formal operation, like a traditional bakery’s operation would be, as she is generally working with what she has on hand. 

    While making deliveries, Crispin is careful to practice social distancing by dropping orders off on doorsteps, while waving through the window. 

    Crispin noted she has frequently pondered owning her own bakery, and recently began to put more serious consideration into operating a bakery. 

    “This has actually been a good opportunity for me to get an idea about how to run a bakery, scheduling a higher volume of bakes, deliveries, etc.,” she said. “If this takes off, it would be quite the silver lining, although I know my boss would hope that it doesn't prevent me from returning to my usual line of work once things settle back towards normal.” 

    Those interested in ordering can email

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