The pandemic has forced many businesses to shut down, but some are taking it as an opportunity to open up.
This week, after decades of working bakery jobs, one local woman opened a place of her own.
For years Maria Rotella had been baking cakes on the side.
“My dream was to go to New York City and work on big wedding cakes, extravagant wedding cakes,” said Exhale Bakery and Cafe owner Maria Rotella, “I ended having two small children and staying in Syracuse.”
Now she’s baking for masses. Thursday she opened Exhale cafe and bakery shop.
“Honestly it means so much that all my friends came to my grand opening. That so many people were here to help,” said Rotella.
Maria had plans to open her bakery a year ago. But she fell ill and her sickness stalled the process.
She was ready to open April when the shutdown began.
“While we were sad we didn’t get to open sooner, it really was a blessing in disguise. If things had gone the way they were supposed to and we were supposed to open last year. With this pandemic we wouldn’t have made it. So, I do believe everything happens for a reason,” said Rotella.
As a single mom she’s been faced with financial troubles. But she saved money by getting all her furniture, appliances, and equipment for the bakery second hand.
She’s also been teaching baking classes online and making cupcakes for delivery or pickup.
“It’s crazy. I’m not gonna say that I can juggle it all and do it well, but I do the best I can,” said Rotella.
Opening during a pandemic is a big undertaking for Maria.
On top of managing her kids learning at home, she’s now running a business, but Maria says the café has brought a sense of normalcy to her life.
“It’s been lonely and hard and sad and amazing. I don’t regret any of it. I would never take any of it back,” said Rotella.
Taking it all in, one breath at a time.
Source: Thanks https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/central-ny/news/2020/10/16/geddes-woman-opens-bakery-in-seek-of-normalcy