Zachary Crockett at The Hustle has been looking at the bread baking phenomenon.
We asked readers of The Hustle to weigh in on why they took up bread-baking during COVID-19. A few themes among the 900+ responses:
- Comfort: “There’s something therapeutic about simplistic, repetitive tasks.”
- Stress relief: “I work in healthcare, and baking bread has been a nice distraction from all the madness.”
- Self-reliance: “We need to get back to our roots and learn how to do stuff instead of depending on others.”
- Unity: “It’s nice to ‘break bread’ with friends in a new socially distant way.”
- Low cost: “How can you beat 10 fresh hoagie buns for less than a buck?”
- Store avoidance: “There’s no way I’m going anywhere near a Trader Joe’s.”
- Boredom: “My graduate student son and his girlfriend moved in with us and we all needed a way to pass the time.”
For some respondents, like Michelle Cousins, baking bread provides a sense of empowerment in a time when many things are out of our hands.
In particular, he notes the business opportunities that are springing up.
On Etsy, no less than 300 sellers are hawking bread starters, heirloom yeast, and artisanal flours.
Among them is Patricia Blais, a 92-year-old retired teacher who has sold more than 3k packets of her 140-year-old sourdough starter — $5.95 for 2 tablespoons.
She says business really started to take off around mid-March when California counties were first ordered to shelter in place. This month, her entire family has pitched in to help fulfill a 350% surge in demand.
See the full article here.