COVID Restrictions Hurt Local Bakery

Historia Bakery in Thousand Oaks was opened just one year ago by Robyn Lee.  The small, family-owned business is learning to navigate the severe restrictions placed on it by the shutdown.

With a background in catering and events, Ms. Lee intended the bakery to be a “passion project,” serving creative pastries of international origin, artisan sandwiches, and specialty items unique to the bakery. Among them are crepe cakes, French donuts, olive oils, and custom roasted coffees. 

The owner says she takes pride in knowing her customers, harkening back to when times were much simpler. 

Starting a new business is no easy task in the best of circumstances; when you add the COVID pandemic, it is a sure recipe for complication.  Yet Historia has managed to remain open every day since it was founded, and Ms. Lee says her customers are her motivation to keep the doors open and show up to work with a positive outlook.  

Yet this and other family-owned businesses face severe challenges to make it through these dark times. The reality, according to Ms. Lee, is that the bakery may not be able to survive 2020 without an increase in sales. The expenses have overwhelmed the operation, and, like so many other small operations, the bakery is on life support to try to make it to better times. 

Unfortunately, Ms. Lee has been unable to get financial support from offering firms, as it appears by the time her number is called in the long line of applications, the “well has run dry,” and available funds have been consumed by other struggling businesses.

Yet, regarding other businesses struggling right now, Ms. Lee wants to remind the owners to “not give up,” to hang in there, and to remember why they started their business in the first place. 

She believes in “staying true to your passion.”

Photo Credit: Jennifer Sherman

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