Four weeks ago, Aaron Caddel faced disaster because of the COVID-19 lockdown. He was forced to close his bakery, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse.
Within 72 hours, every single one of his wholesale customers canceled their orders—a $3 million loss.
“I had single mothers on staff begging me to keep their jobs,” Caddel told The Hustle. “So I just had to turn to solution mode: How can I create an insurance policy against this economy?”
Like any human, he started by Googling it. He soon found that people stuck at home were baking—a lot. So much so that stores were perpetually low on supplies. Even Amazon saw a 3,618% increase in searches for “all-purpose flour.”
Caddel decided to shorten his supply chain. He could sell an inclusive kit to enable everyone to bake their own loaves. And not just any loaves: Mr. Holmes’ beloved loaves.
With no prior experience in e-commerce, Caddel created a dedicated website in a few days, negotiated with his suppliers, and had his entire team—including “among the most badass croissant laminators in the country”—packing baking kits.
He hopes to scale to $100k in revenue per day by the end of April. 20% of specific sales go toward supporting elementary schools. He’s also reinvesting profits in his staff.
“I want to be the Girl Scout Cookies of the public school system,” he said. “The sales we’re doing is amazing, but I want to grow the company during this time—not just create some kind of float.”
Cadel is one of a wave of entrepreneurs pivoting hard and fast to meet demand—even if it’s in a market that used to be ancillary to his own.