HELENA — The pandemic brought many challenges for businesses trying to grow, but one farmer’s market vendor was able to overcome those challenges and will soon open a shop in Helena.
Ian and Kate Mclean are both bakers and owners of Sunflower Bakery. You may have noticed them in farmer’s markets, but now they are taking their bread to a new storefront, an achievement not even the pandemic could beat.
"During the beginning of the pandemic, we saw that our business was the same or even above what it normally has been,” explains Ian. “We saw that there was no reason to not go ahead and do this storefront as we had planned on doing."
Although the storefront was planned before the pandemic, the bakery says building is taking longer than expected. However, they’re continuing to push forward after lots of support from the community over the summer.
"We have a great customer base,” says Kate. “So, we're really excited to be able to add to that and to keep producing to those folks."
Sunflower Bakery have also added on help with COVID-19 Relief funding of about $4,000 to get them through the summer. They are pausing their bread-making to fully focus on finishing the building. They found it difficult to bake and build at the same time.
“The sooner we open, we can start making more money. So, it's a gamble, but we just weren't getting anything done," says Kate.
“It was going so slow because during the week, we would just be baking most of the time," explains Ian.
Sunflower Bakery hopes to have everything finished and opened up by early November 2020.
Sunflower Bakery will not participate in the farmer’s market this Saturday, October 10th, 2020.
They plan on hiring one employee to help with the shop.