Cottage at Blue Ridge’s Popular Bread Popups Feed Hungry Community Throughout COVID-19 Crisis
When #COVID19 closed many businesses down, Conor O'Neill's beloved Cottage at Blue Ridge stayed opened, following social distancing and sanitizing protocols to a "T." O'Neill's #bread #popups have become the stuff of legend in Perrinville — crossroad to #Edmonds and #Lynnwood.
“Many…feel more comfortable visiting an outdoor, open-air bread popup than a local grocery store to buy their bread.”
Conor O’Neill’s beloved Cottage at Blue Ridge Popups in Perrinville serve as a much-needed constant for a weary, grateful public, eager to still enjoy his life-sustaining bread and pastries, whose ingredients are carefully, locally sourced, mixed and baked with love.
Even with COVID-19 raising safety concerns, the cottage baker found he could still provide crowd favorites like Bavarian pretzels, country sour bread, challah, and chocolate chunk rye cookies — better than a supermarket chain — from his oven straight to the consumer. Since even before the shelter-in-place order, O’Neill, who started his cottage baking business in earnest in March 2018, instituted social distancing guidelines, much to the relief of his regulars and a growing number of new fans.
How have you adapted? When I learned that there was at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Washington State, I knew it was time to be proactive about the situation, rather than react to the potential outcomes. After seeing how quickly a virus like this can spread, I was alert to the circumstances, but not frightened. As a solo-operated small business, I knew I needed to stay healthy, and follow the recommended guidelines from trusted health organizations.
Shortly after learning the gravity of the situation in regard to access to food, it was my call to action to supply as much bread as I could. Another one of the ways I chose to adapt was by pre-bagging all of my baked goods. I am also minimizing any points of contact at my bread popups, and sanitizing my point of sale device after each use. We set up cones as a way to promote social distancing, and are now wearing face coverings, as directed by the CDC.
What’s the response been? The response from my community has been incredible. Many folks have expressed they feel more comfortable visiting an outdoor, open-air bread popup than a local grocery store to buy their bread.
The community has been so supportive of our social distancing guidelines, and have made the transition so smoothly. Not to mention, how positive and uplifting my community has been during this time.
Do you have online gift cards or gift certificates? Unfortunately, I don’t. But please consider buying gift cards to support my favorite coffee shop in Edmonds, Walnut Street Coffee! Walnut Street Coffee is also featured in WELCOME Magazine’s Spring & Summer Edition.
How can people support you? The best way to support this cottage bakery is to buy bread from my weekly bread popups in Perrinville! If you aren’t able to visit a popup, consider supporting the bakery here using a “pay-what-you-want” sliding scale, and you’ll receive a Cottage Bookmark in return.