Don’t panic. I’m not retiring from photography. But I am happily and proudly retiring from my very brief exploration into the bread baking industry.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram for the past year, you know that I became obsessed with baking bread after working my way through Bonnie Ohara’s book Bread Baking for Beginners. Honestly though, if you’ve turned out a gorgeous loaf of homemade bread, you know how satisfying it can be. The only thing better is sharing that bread with those you love.
Baking bread takes a ton of time. Like, all day to get just two loaves. When the pandemic started and we were ordered to shelter in place, I quickly realized I was going to have a lot of time on my hands, so I got to [stress] baking.
When the reality of what COVID-19 was going to do to my photography business set in, I decided to test my local carb-loving market and offer to bake and sell bread for my friends, and surprisingly a lot of my clients as well!
Over the course of the last weeks, I’ve baked and sold over 23 loaves of bread for $20 each. The response was mind-blowing and it honestly had me considering turning bread baking into my side hustle.
There is no telling when the photography industry will rebound and the money I was seeing from bread sales would certainly help cushion my family finances during this tumultuous time. But, as I watch the news day after day, I knew my heart wasn’t in it for the money.
Although this pandemic has been challenging for me and my husband, I am constantly reminded that we are very fortunate to have a roof over our head (that we aren’t at risk of losing), food in our fridge (weeks worth, actually), steady income (my husband can safely work from home for an indefinite amount of time) and – most importantly – we have our health.
None of this makes me feel lucky. All of this makes me feel humble.
So with a very grateful heart, I decided that every dollar earned through selling bread this past month would be donated to The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. This amazing non-profit works hard to support our community and they have stepped it up tenfold during this crisis. They can only do their good work if we are supporting them though, so I’m thrilled to contribute to this organization.
My donation covered the cost of 10 “resilience boxes”. These boxes help both local farmers and those most vulnerable in the community by donating fresh, organic, locally grown produce and pantry essentials.
If you have the ability, please consider donating to The Ecology Center (click here for details). They also have Farm Share boxes available for safe pick up – so the next time you’re in need of produce, check them out!
To those of you who contributed unknowingly to this cause – I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug. I know you were buying bread to support me, but in turn, we are all able to help many more people.
Everyone, please stay informed, stay safe and stay at home!