The pandemic strikes another local favorite, this time, it's Bernice's Bakery. I had stopped in yesterday for an after school treat and saw they were closed. Turns out, they made the decision to temporarily close the bakery and have all of their employees tested due to a positive COVID case amongst the staff.

The great part is that they are locally owned, and the owners treat their staff like family, so they are paying all staff their hourly sick pay rate. However, the staff will miss out a week’s worth of tips. If you've worked in the service industry, you know that employees earn and rely on daily tips as part of their regular income. Bernice's being closed means the Missoulians who work there will likely not be able to pay their February bills, even with the hourly sick wages. So, the owners have launched a fundraiser for those who want to help, and they want to assure the public, that all funds will be evenly distributed to Bernice's non-management employees only. You can find their GoFundMe here. 

As I pulled up yesterday and saw them closed, I knew it was likely pandemic related and my heart sunk as I remembered it's one of their biggest weeks of the year - Valentine's Day. Some of the employee tests have already come back negative, if the rest are negative, the bakery should be re-opened on Friday, Saturday at the latest, with fresh V-Day treats for you and your loved ones. We'll definitely be popping in for some of those delectable Love Day cupcakes that we look forward to every February. We are rooting for them, and the owner adds, "The outpouring of love and support has been humbling and much appreciated by all of us."

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