CHICAGO (CBS) — Here is a Mother’s Day comeback story.
A West Rogers Park neighborhood bakery had to furlough their employees and saw a steep decline in business – but now they’re back at full force.READ MORE: Family Of Amazon Delivery Driver Killed When Tornado Hit Downstate Warehouse To File Lawsuit
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas introduced us to the mom and daughter who run the show.
After 42 years, the JR Dessert Bakery at 2841 W. Howard St. keeps spinning.
“This business was another child to me,” said Janet Rosing.
Rosing launched the wholesale bakery in 1979. Her daughter, Natalie Silvestro, used to be dazzled by the cupcakes and cookies – and now she helps run the business.
“We’ve been through booms, and we’ve been through recessions,” Rosing said.
“But the pandemic was different,” Silvestro added.
Some of their biggest money makers are restaurant orders and events at McCormick Place. So, when the pandemic hit, they lost 50 percent of their business overnight.
“We did have to furlough all of our employees for five weeks,” Silvestro said.
They wound up landing a Personal Paycheck Protection (PPP) loan to help them climb back. And the bakery shifted their business model, catering more toward grocery stores that sold their sweet treats.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Low 20s Monday Night; Arctic Cold Front Coming Wednesday Morning
They even upped their retail, taking more small orders from people in the neighborhood.
“One year later, everyone’s back,” Silvestro said. “We’re fully operational, and I would say business is good.”
Good – as in even better than 2019.
Last Mother’s Day, the bakery was scrambling for solutions. This year, thanks to the hard work of the entire staff, they’re in a full-on comeback.
Oh, and by the way, it all happened while Silvestro was pregnant with twins.
“And now, probably, my mom and I think that we can handle anything,” Silvestro said.
Now, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot planning to remove capacity restrictions in July, business could pick up even more. That means Silvestro’s kids might have plenty of cookies to sample in the years ahead, just as she did when she was a little one.
“My plan is to support her in this business as long as I can, where one day, she’ll run this herself,” Rosing said of her daughter.
“She’s not going anywhere anytime soon though,” added Silvestro of her mother.
JR Dessert Bakery is even looking to hire a new baker to help them out. But like many businesses, they’re having trouble finding applicants in a turbulent job market.MORE NEWS: Mayor Lori Lightfoot Ending 5-Day Isolation After Testing Positive For COVID-19 Last Week
If you’re interested, they’d like to hear from you. They are at Howard Street and Francisco Avenue.