By Morgan Saiget
For The Cordova Times
Junior Journalists is a new program by The Cordova Times working in partnership with Mt. Eccles Elementary School. Through the Junior Journalists program, young aspiring reporters will have the opportunity to produce and publish work under the oversight of Cordova Times staff and Mt. Eccles educators.
The Little Cordova Bakery is a small business down on Breakwater Avenue by the Old Harbor. Owner Theresa Carte has taken many precautions to stay in business while keeping her staff, her customers and herself safe.
Carte says she has been following the main rules and taking breaks for her mental health.
“The challenge with that is that there are the federal rules, and there’s the state rules and then there’s local,” Carte explained. “And they don’t always say the same thing.”
She has been following the ones that are mandatory, and then choosing the ones she thinks will keep her staff and herself safest.
Carte has gone to many lengths to keep her customers safe as well. She only allows up to five people in, and keeps her employees and customers apart.
“The first thing I did was change the layout,” Carte said. “We made an employee door and a customer door.”
Carte and her employees have also been sanitizing everything her customers touch and making home deliveries if customers request it.
Carte says that COVID-19 has greatly affected her business, but not just in negative ways. Some positive news is that Carte gained two employees. Marie Esguerra is a college student, and she planned on staying away for the summer and getting a job elsewhere.
“But when COVID happened and the university closed early, she’s back and working for me, so that was a big plus, actually, I got one of my good employees back and working for me when she came home,” Carte explained.
The other employee came back from where she was two or three weeks early because it was very stressful for her there. One downside of COVID-19 is how many things Carte relies on for money have been canceled. Carte is hoping that the fisherman will bring better luck not only for her shop, but also for her world.
“When you own a small business, or at least for me and my small business, the TLC Bakery, it’s like my sun, and my whole world revolves around it,” Carte said. “That is what I do, it’s my life, and my employees are also dependent on it, and I care about my employees, and so this COVID-19 is threatening my world, basically, because it’s threatening my business.”
Pheobe Tschappat contributed to this report.