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San Diego baker gets creative selling surplus supplies

Studies show that baking can actually make you happier, but when many didn’t see the items needed to bake on store shelves they started calling wholesalers.

SAN DIEGO —

Small businesses are doing what they can to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. One business got creative when they found themselves with a surplus of baking items and bills to pay. Diego Desserts has items you can’t find at the grocery store. 

Studies show that baking can actually make you happier and kneading dough is actually therapeutic, but when many didn’t see the items needed to bake on store shelves they started calling wholesalers and it gave at least one business an idea to help out. 

“I was contemplating laying off employees on Monday morning,” said Geofrey Millensifer. 

Instead, he loaded up his refrigerated delivery truck with flour, sugar, nuts and all things baking. 

So, I decided to build a few pallets of 50-pound bags, and I came to the park and somebody tweeted it,” Millensifer said.  

What happened next surprised the Lakeside wholesaler who usually sells to casinos, hotels and restaurants. 

The next thing I knew there was a line,” he said.  

“Cookies, cakes, you name it,” said customer Lisa Kendall. “Hot pasta - my daughter decided to make pasta the other night. 

Kendall got the last slot of the day and picked up items for neighbors. 

“It’s really hard to find this stuff at the grocery store today believe it or not,” she said. “I’m getting flour, butter, and sugar and everything that my girls are wanting to bake with these days.  

After losing 95% of their business, Diego Desserts employees are happy to be working, but selling to individuals is more work, so a few friends decided to help out.  

For now, Millensifer doesn’t know how long he can keep this up.  

They’re helping me out and they’re helping my employees out,” he said. 

 And those getting the special deliveries appreciate it too. 

“It makes me feel good to be able to support the small business, absolutely, I’ll do what I can,” said Kendall.  

Studies also show that the smell of fresh-baked bread can make you a kinder person and with everyone staying home - some of us need to be nicer to each other.  

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BACKGROUND: 

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.  

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:  

Know how it spreads:  

  • There is no vaccine  

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus 

  • It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact 

  • And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes 

Protect yourself 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds 

  • If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Put distance between yourselves and others 

Protect others 

  • Stay home when you are sick 

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash 

  • If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow 

  • Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing  

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe 

You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page. 

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  

The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses. 

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.