A small business surviving Covid

Hopefully you are all keeping safe and well? I hope also that you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy some time in the kitchen trying out new recipes and maybe new ingredients too?

I’m finding each day to be a bit of a roller-coaster at the moment to be honest. I count my blessings that we’re all healthy, that we live in Dorset with amazing outdoor space and that the kids have both got Xboxes-The latter meaning that the boys don’t notice if I’m a bit late starting the old home schooling sessions.

On the other hand, with most of our wholesale business either on pause or gone for good, I’m feeling highly anxious about what the future holds for the business.

Honeybuns bakery for wholesale and foodservice or to buy online

Dedicated gluten free bakery

Chatting with other friends with small businesses or who are self employed, it’s clear this jittery feeling is widespread. Most of the Honeybuns team are furloughed at the moment and many of them are worried too about the future. I’m finding it frustrating and stressful to not be able to give any firm answers to people I’ve worked closely with for many years. Truth is, we just don’t know how things are going to pan out.

Dedicated gluten free bakery with vegan options too

To focus on something positive, creative and constructive I turned to our kitchen at home to see what answers might lie at the back of the store cupboard–

In times of stress the kitchen has proved to be my happy place where I can pop Graham Norton on the radio, rootle amongst the more obscure ingredients I’ve collected whilst flicking through an eclectic stash of cook books, magazine cut outs and random scribbles.

This time I wanted this kitchen therapy to be slightly less indulgent and well-more useful.

I decided to break the habit of a life time and get in front of the camera to do some home baking videos.

Lottie, who is working in the office has been a fantastic safe distancing camera person and a really calming influence.

Honeybuns all day cook book filled with gluten free and free from recipes

We decided to start cooking gluten free recipes from our Honeybuns All Day Cook Book. It’s been interesting trying out other ingredients when we’ve run into supply issues. I’m sure you’ve found this too-.turning up at the supermarket to find the shelves stripped of all but the most obscure of flours. So we’ve been able to explain other options- what you can swap in without turning the dish into inedible stodge.

We’ve had lovely feedback. The recipe videos are totally free to access on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and we’d love to hear back from you on what you want to see more of.

A couple of days ago I went to Sainsburys which is about 8 miles drive away. It had been a long day of sketchy home schooling, catching runaway donkeys and trying to get my head round digital marketing. I was extremely tired. I needed 3 aubergines for my next cooking video. They had one left. This would have to do, so I took it home & pre-roasted it as per the recipe ready for the next morning video shoot. I also baked a gorgeous gluten free multi seeded loaf ready for the next day’s videoing.

Next morning, nice and early I was ready to start. Only half my cooked aubergine had gone. Neatly cut in that had to be the husband (it was).The loaf took a bit more working out. I’d failed to push it right back on the counter before covering it with a cloth. The top of the loaf had risen and cracked beautifully but now the crust had disappeared and the cloth was on the floor-. Bruno sighed contentedly from his basket and the penny dropped. Our massive Ridgeback cross had shown excellent taste and helped himself to a nutritious, Omega-3 enriched breakfast.

Emma Goss-Custard runs the Dorset based gluten free bakery

Please do take a look at the videos and let us know what you think.

We’re also pushing ourselves to be more pro-active by reaching out to more journalists for coverage.

I’d urge other small business owners to do the same. There is an appetite right now for personal, behind the scenes accounts of how business is surviving.

Keep safe, keep baking and please send us your pics and stories.