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'Isolation cake': Vancouver Island cafe offering miniature cakes for one
VANCOUVER -- The four-inch cake is a sight to behold: Mint and lavender icing with sprinkles that mimic balloons and streamers.
Made by bakers known for their cakes, this one isn’t meant to be shared. It’s for those in isolation.
“We just wanted to make sure people had a way to indulge and to celebrate even if that was privately or, you know, in solitary confinement or whatever it is that they're doing,” said Susannah Bryan, one of the owners of the Ruth and Dean shop in greater Victoria.
The cheery escape of an "isolation cake" is getting traction outside of the B.C. capital as well. Model Chrissy Tiegen showed off a creation of her own on Twitter this month.
Luminary Bakery in the U.K., a non-profit and reportedly a favourite of Meaghan Markle’s, is also selling the coronavirus prompted dessert
At Ruth and Dean, selling cakes-for-one is a way to adapt in challenging times. Inside the shop, the chairs are up on tables.
When sales dropped dramatically, they were forced to lay off staff. Since the provincial health officer ordered all restaurants closed, Ruth and Dean decided to do a “contactless” take-out model. All orders are taken over the phone, and when customers arrive, someone runs the order to their vehicle, placing it inside the trunk or the car.
Then they got cooking - taking the perishable items they would no longer use to make meals for those in need.
“Your natural instincts always when you're cleaning out your fridge is to make soup right so we started making tons of soup," Bryan said.
The soup is delivered for free and was initially just for seniors and those in isolation. These days, Bryan said it’s available for anyone who’s just having a bad day or anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said some in the community stepped up and made donations, while stores gave food and others offered to deliver the goods. So many people are now helping out, the shop needs to find more hungry mouths to feed.
“Actually, we need more people to stop being so noble and accept some soup," Bryan said.
In these uncertain times, that’s certainly something to celebrate — with cake.