Just Bakery is back! – madison365.com

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After a two-month coronavirus-related hiatus, Madison-area Urban Ministry’s Just Bakery will be offering their delicious baked goods for public consumption. Online sales begin Friday, May 15 and curbside pick-up starts Saturday, May 16.  

“We’re going to slowly work our way back into it and hopefully have those Sassy Cow ice cream sandwiches ready by June,” Carmella Glenn, coordinator of the Just Bakery program, tells Madison365. “We are going to work our way back into it slowly. We will start out one day a week and if people want more Just Bakery, we will open up more days a week.”

MUM’s Just Bakery Program is a 12-week vocational and employment training program specifically designed to meet the needs of men and women returning to the community after incarceration and to prepare men and woman with employment barriers to work in commercial bakeries.

“[MUM Executive Director] Linda [Ketcham] has been a great boss throughout this coronavirus pandemic. We could have kept baking the whole time because it’s an essential [business] but she really left it up to us to be able to figure out who is comfortable doing what,” Glenn says. “We decided to do the bread for the pantries and we have our UW cookie orders that we’ve consistently done but when our baking teacher and lead baker had some anxiety about being around people and spreading the coronavirus, Linda said, ‘You guys have to take care of yourselves. Shut it down.’”

Carmella Glenn, coordinator of the Just Bakery program

Just Bakery makes a wide range of products including cookies, brownies, morning buns, morning glory muffins, cinnamon rolls, white bread, multi-grain bread, cinnamon bread, rye bread, zucchini bread, parmesan pesto bread, pumpkin bread, coffee cakes, and more.

With the re-opening on Saturday, Glenn says that Just Bakery will have a shortened menu. “Some frozen stuff, cinnamon rolls and rolls, bread,” Glenn says. “The cinnamon rolls will come with icing so people can just take them home and bake them themselves and get their house smelling all nice.”

Just Bakery’s Phil and Tyrees have been making all the bread for the pantries.

It’s been two months since they’ve been shut down, but Just Bakery still has been busy.

“We still have been teaching. We took the whole classroom online, but the bakery part has been closed down for two months,” she says. “We’re back in a place where we are just comfortable with what’s going on in the world, understanding it, being educated … we’re a school. We’re a beacon for people and a place people will be looking to see how you do this right. We train others how to do this – be ServSafe, how to sanitize, safety precautions you should have in your restaurant. That’s what we teach all of our students so when they go to a restaurant and do that and be managers and bakers.”

However, Glenn says that Just Bakery did miss out on a lot of profits over the last two months from selling their delicious baked goods. 

“We have had some great support to do bread to keep the guys working during that time,” Glenn says. “But now we’re ready to really get back in and get some bills paid. Now we feel like we’re ready to go!”

It’s reasonable to think that Just Bakery will have a lot of customers coming this weekend – especially people who have been waiting months for delicious Just Bakery foods that have not been available. But there are also people who have gained a little weight over the coronavirus shutdown who may feel like they have to shy away. Which scenario wins?

“I can see both sides of that. But let me tell you this – the sweet always wins,” Glenn says, laughing. “The weather is nice now. Go take a walk and gets some sweets from Just Bakery.”

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