An Unforgettable March 2020 - By Nerys Evans

The Pandemic - Sink Or Swim!

One minute Cardigan Bay Brownies were fully-staffed, the shop was busy, the online orders were being packed and posted. I was preparing for what looked like my busiest and best year in business yet…Then the coronavirus pandemic struck and what happened next was unimaginable for my busy chocolate bakery.

From seeing our regular lovely customers in the shop, with chatter and laughter about day to day life, cwtching our nearest and dearest, it all came to an abrupt stop for us all.

Everyone who knows Cardigan Bay Brownies knows how passionate both myself and my staff, are about our customers, our local area and most importantly our baking. But we had to make the painful decision to close the shop. We wanted to ensure a safe environment and the utmost health and safety measures for our treasured customers.

Facing The Unknown

From building the business from scratch, I will never forget having to create a ‘closed until further notice’ poster for the shop window. After being open since only March 2019, barely a year on, I didn’t know if we’d ever bake another brownie again!

Like every other small business, it was a heartbreaking having to close, but I felt it was the right thing to do. We needed to take stock, work out how we could continue safely for both my staff and customers.

As a busy business owner, literally ‘always on the go’, it just felt plain weird being at home. Like many, I was in a state of shock – I even got up to date with the housework – now that never happens!

Then slowly, but surely, a small light at the end of the tunnel appeared. I began receiving message after message from our brownie-loving customers from all over the UK on my social media.

The Isolation Brownie Box

Whilst in lockdown my customers wanted to send their favourite chocolate brownie gifts to friends and family in isolation. Showing them how much they care with a gooey chocolatey pick-me-up in challenging lockdown times. So the ‘Isolation Brownie Box’ was born!

I tentatively re-opened the online store and quite frankly, I couldn’t wait to get back into the bakery to start creating our brownie/blondie variety boxes for all our amazing customers. Although the shop in Cardigan was closed, we were still able to bake from the premises keeping to the new hygiene procedures. I was completely blown away by the fantastic support for the letterbox brownie gifts. Having orders in my inbox around the clock to send to all over the UK from my little shop in West Wales!

I will never forget writing such emotional personal messages by hand to insert in each of the letterbox brownie boxes. It was truly an honour to be writing private messages on my customers’ behalf,  but also heartbreaking at the same time. The love in those messages was unreal.

It was incredibly overwhelming to be involved with my customers’ lives at such a personal level and must admit, I cried an awful lot during this time, adjusting to our new way of life. It is something I will never ever forget.


The New ‘Normal’

We are back open and adjusting to the new normal, posting variety treat boxes to shielding and enjoying seeing our regular customers again at safe distance. I cannot thank our staff, friends and family enough, but most importantly our customers! Without their amazing support and kindness, we couldn’t have been sure of Cardigan Bay Brownies’ future.

our online shop has grown!

Fabulous Flavours Online

Since opening our doors to our chocolate haven in Cardigan high street, we’ve had so much support from our regulars. All have been buying our brownies online and instore to send to relatives and friends in other parts of the UK. We’ve now increased our brownie online shop to include more of your favourite flavours, from our best selling Sea Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie to our Rolo Cookie Cups. You’ll now find more delicious flavours to order, direct to your doorstep!