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Sourdough Baker Feels Community Support Amid Pandemic

Christina Cann
Gulf Coast Sourdough Facebook page
Christina Cann of Gulf Coast Sourdough

From job loss, to balancing work from home to the isolation of following stay-at-home orders, coronavirus has changed our everyday lives. WUSF is giving you a voice to share those experiences.

Today, we meet Christina Cann, owner of the Tampa bakery Gulf Coast Sourdough.

In her own words, Cann shares how the loss of business has been difficult, but she's been buoyed by meeting people discovering a love for sourdough baking.

"We are so excited to see people getting into sourdough baking for the first time. I think that people right now are kind of in a resilient frame of mind. Given everything that's going on right now, learning to care for a sourdough starter and learning to bake sourdough bread really speaks to people in a very deep way. It's part of our collective history, and we're getting back to our roots and our self sufficiency. And sourdough baking is really appealing, and it has the benefit of being absolutely delicious...

"The community has been absolutely amazing…They're committed to supporting local businesses and helping to make sure that we can survive this current climate that we're in. So that has been absolutely just inspiring and wonderful...

“We're a bakery, we have multiple revenue streams. The sandwich shop is one of them. Our retail bakery is one of them. But we supply bread for about 40 restaurants throughout the area. And those orders have gone down by about 80%. All the farmers markets we do – we  were doing at least one or two every weekend -- those have all been canceled. So for the community to rally around local businesses like us, it's been just absolutely amazing. We've been able to keep our staff employed. And keep the lights on and also meet new folks who are really loving sourdough baking… So it's been a challenging time for sure. But it's also been an inspiring time.”

This story is produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Robin Sussingham was Senior Editor at WUSF until September 2020.
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