A bakery in New Brunswick is reviving an age-old tradition so the family-run business can endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
“It did impact us with a big bang and very sudden,” said Nick Stam, owner of “The Dutch Baker” in Notre-Dame, N.B.
Stam moved to Canada from the Netherlands in the late 1970s to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps as a community baker.
Now the owner of a bakery attached to his home, Stam traditionally sells to local restaurants and through farmer’s markets.
But when those outlets were shut down by COVID-19 he said he decided to go old school.
Stam revived his grandfather’s tradition of delivering bread and baked goods door-to-door for free.
“We are all in this together,” said Stam.
Stam said his grandfather, who owned a bakery in Kinderdijk, Netherlands, in the 1930s knew all about surviving hard times.
“He was the youngest one and they didn’t know what to do with him so they said you can be the apprentice of the baker,” Stam told Global News.
Working as a baker during the Second World War when food rations were scarce, Stam’s grandfather stepped up to help his community.
“People would give their flour coupons and sugar coupons all to the baker and the baker could buy or get ingredients and he would bake it for them,” he said.
Fast forward nearly 80 years and while Stam may not be dodging bombs, he is trying to make ends meet during global pandemic where sales are down 50 per cent.
Stam’s son John says it’s all about supporting and maintaining their customer base.
“I think that it is pretty cool that things are going back to a time when things like that extra service were commonplace right,” said John.
The move has managed to keep the family tradition alive for the time being, said Stam, and while restaurants and markets are reopening sales are still slow.
Stam said he’ll continue with home deliveries for as long as he can but given the added costs, he isn’t sure it’s sustainable in the long term.
“It probably takes three or four people three hours just to get the orders ready,” he said.
But Stam is determined not to let the pandemic force him to shut down and break a strongly-held family tradition.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.
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