SHREWSBURY — Might 2020 throughout a first in over a century pandemic was most likely not the best time to open a 3rd and new flagship location of the Bean Counter Bakery Café on Grove Road in Worcester.
“It was fairly scary as a result of right here we’re, we had put our complete life financial savings, and borrowed tons of cash into a brand new property, and we had no earnings,” Alice Lombardi, founder and proprietor of Bean Counter Bakery Café stated in an interview Sunday from her Route 9 retailer in Shrewsbury.
Thankfully, the federal government was there to assist, and the enterprise obtained $175,000 from the Paycheck Safety Program.
“The PPP was capable of come via and assist me survive a bit longer: Thank God,” Lombardi stated.
Sunday afternoon, federal and state lawmakers personally stopped by the Bean Counter Bakery Café, with U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, Congressman James McGovern, and state Sen. Michael Moore visiting the enterprise’ Shrewsbury location.
Afterward, Markey and McGovern continued their swing via the realm to hitch hanging nurses at St. Vincent Hospital downtown, and had been additionally scheduled to obtain a tour of Polar Park within the Canal District.
The Bean Counter Bakery Café opened on Worcester’s Highland Road in 2001, expanded to Shrewsbury in 2008, and expanded as soon as once more to Grove Road in Might, using about 40 folks previous to the pandemic.
Lombardi stated the Sunday go to, which additionally attracted quite a few digicam crews from Boston information stations, was “a great way to reminisce about this previous yr.”
“It was a unprecedented yr,” she stated. “And never all the time in a great way.”
The enterprise, like many different meals companies, went to takeout solely to start with of the pandemic, and Lombardi recounted varied offers — free dwelling supply, free espresso with any buy, and so on. — supplied to make sure product moved.
“It wasn’t even earning money, it was simply surviving,” Lombardi stated.
However the PPP mortgage got here via with assist from Cornerstone Financial institution, enabling the enterprise to pay for lease, employees, and open up the brand new retailer and convey staff again to work, Lombardi stated.
“Due to the mortgage, we’re capable of be the place we’re in the present day, and I’m actually, actually grateful for that,” Lombardi stated.
As a result of enterprise is now booming.
Lombardi reported that Bean Counter Bakery Café had twice the traditional variety of orders for Halloween, offered thrice as many pies as they usually made at Thanksgiving, Christmas was “via the roof,” and Valentine’s Day was “busier than Christmas.”
“Now we’re simply bracing for Easter,” Lombardi stated.
“I’m simply so grateful for what the federal government has performed for us companies: it’s actually unbelievable, they give thought to us,” Lombardi stated. “It makes you cry a little bit bit.”