Saturday, May 18, 2024

Small baking business booms in lockdown

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Mare Van der Berg’s business Flour and Dough gained traction during level 4 lockdown. Photo Flour and Dough.

Baking enthusiastic Mare Van der Berg’s idea for her small business struck following the birth of her second child.

“I needed to do something,” Van der Berg says. “My husband and I started bouncing ideas around.”

Van der Berg had been doing her bread recipes for around 20 years.

The two recipes – gluten free keto mix and beer bread – were easy for her just to whip up and put on a table, she says.

“I always used to get so many compliments about them,” Van der Berg says.

That’s when they started to think about packaging them and selling them as pre-mix so that customers could purchase them and make them at home.

In March, when she and her family were living in Bucklands Beach, Flour and Dough was established, making all kinds of baking pre-mixes for bread and a sweet treats range.

Originally Van der Berg would visit various markets to sell her product. Then she started getting shops buying wholesale from the business and Flour and Dough gained traction.

“So a lot of online shops, subscription boxes, and gift shops,” she says. “I am currently shipping off to six or seven billings.”

The first two weeks of the level four lockdown, she says, was manic.

“I was an absolute wreck,” Van der Berg says.

The sudden boom of the business, as well as having two young children at home, forced her to work in the evening and meant she would often be awake until two or three in the morning.

“I had to get up at six because of the kids.”

Van der Berg says that a lot more people became aware of Flour and Dough during the lockdown.

“Two shops contacted me.”

It returned to normal at level 3, she says. “I think because a lot of businesses went back and people weren’t home being bored.”

While Van der Berg’s business was considered essential and was able to ship, a lot of people within the market community could not as their products, whether it be candles or pottery, was non-essential.

“The community was hit hard,” she says. “Their sales slowed down and many of them don’t have websites.”

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