Bakery rises to restriction challenges

Maureen Cook of Pie in the Sky Bakery said business has been relatively normal throughout the pandemic, with customers understanding and abiding by social distancing rules.

Tumut’s Pie in the Sky Bakery has survived Covid-19 relatively unscathed, even as the lower end of Wynyard Street turned into a ghost town for several weeks.

“It’s good,” said owner Maureen Cook as the NSW Government started allowing up to 10 people to eat at cafes and restaurants. 

“It was good beforehand, but it’s lovely now customers can come back and sit down.”

Ms Cook said she’s looking forward to next week when the cafe will be allowed to have “a full complement” of seating for their customers, when up to 50 people can sit down for a meal.

 She said she’s seen more of her regulars returning since the dine-in option was approved, but the business has stayed busy throughout the pandemic.

“It’s food,” she said, simply. “People still want food. Workmen have still come in for breakfast and smoko. 

“People still want food and coffee.”

The bakery will suffer from losing wintertime catering for local sports, and they had to close their ‘Born and Bread’ store lower in the street, but Ms Cook said Pie in the Sky has stayed as busy as ever. 

“Initially we did restrict our hours and we didn’t open for a number of weekends, but it’s stayed normal,” she said. 

“Sunday this weekend will be the first Sunday we’ve opened.”

For the most part, Ms Cook said their customers have observed social distancing and formed orderly lines outside when the maximum number of customers inside was reached.

“We haven’t had to say anything… people seem to count,” she said. 

Winter is typically Pie in the Sky’s busiest season, and Ms Cook said they have seen some loss in trade, especially around Tumut’s typically-hectic Easter weekend, but there have been some upsides for her staff.

“Easter was lovely,” she smiled. “For us to have four days days off… there are little benefits for us. But you’re also not making making money when you’re closed.

“We really have been so, so lucky.”