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Central Continental Bakery re-opens after fire

image3By Ivanka Northrop
Features Editor 
Following the fire in downtown Mount Prospect back in February of 2014, Central Continental Bakery had to temporarily relocate. This past Friday the 19 of September, Central Continental Bakery reopened in their original location, and were able to call it home again.
“It was such a relief to reopen again,” store manager, Katie Collins said. “Everyone was super happy. The bakers in back that we work with, worked at a separate building, so we didn’t really see each other. It was really nice to see everyone again working as a team, working together.”
Because of the fire, they had to redo the entire back half of the bakery due to water damage. The bakery also moved temporarily across the tracks. Here, they only sold products instead of making them. All, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and more were brought from their off site location in Elk Grove.
Out in back of the small shop, they had a refrigerated trailer, holding many of the cakes for the weekend. Every time a customer came to pick up their cake, an employee had to go out back, unlock the trailer, grab the cake, lock the trailer, and then give the cake to the customer.
“If there [were] problems, it wasn’t as easy to solve verses everyone being under one roof,” Collins said. “It was just kind of rough.”
Being back at their old location makes things much easier. When a problem arises, it can be a quick easy fix when you’re able to communicate with your colleagues better.
“If someone needed something the day of, or the next day, I could turn around and ask one of the bakers if it’s something we can do,” Collins said. “[I could] tell them right then and there.”
The effects of the fire, really impacted the bakery and it’s employees, but mostly in positive ways, teaching them beneficial lessons. It also had influenced the ability to work together and run a business together.
image5“It definitely has helped us realize what we had,” Collins said. “ You’re just kind of doing the same thing every day, [and] you don’t realize how much harder it could be somewhere else and having a big system, and new products and everything. It definitely makes you appreciate what you have. We’ve all become stronger as a team. Everyone from the day of the fire has stayed with us, we didn’t have anyone leave us… It’s a family business and we just became closer as a family.”

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