MACHESNEY PARK (WREX) — For three generations, By The Dozen Bakery has been bringing joy to customers with classic confections. Cakes, donuts, cookies, bread and the list goes on.
So does the list of flavors.
"We have over a dozen different donut options on any given day," says the stores general manager Brooke Adams. "My favorite donut is the swiss filled chocolate long john."
Loyal customers have been coming to the family-owned bakery for decades, and that loyalty is what Adams says makes the business feel like home.
"To feel the joy you get with the customers and when they come in and they're excited to see you, it's just a good feeling to have," says Adams.
"Then to be able to make them even happier with a donut, it brings a lot of joy."
Adams has been with the bakery for eight years; working her way up from a cashier to now the shops general manager. Over the time she has been with the bakery, she began to learn the tools of the trade, like cake decorating.
"I first applied to be a cake decorator, that did not happen at all," says Adams. "Slowly I learned doing a bit here and there."
Little did she know, when the pandemic hit, those skills would come in handy.
"We went from about 40 employees down to just me and Brent [the owner]. He did all the donuts in the back and I did everything up front. It was so heartbreaking to have to lay off our staff."
After cutting back hours and not knowing what the future would hold, she says one day everything changed again.
"It went from crazy pandemic shutdown to us running crazy," says Adams. "Like it happened pretty much overnight, like on a weekend, where we couldn't keep up anymore and we needed to bring staff members back to stay on top of demand."
Since the summer, the bakery has brought back over a dozen employees. While Adams says things aren't fully back to normal, she's thankful for regulars returning and bringing back some normalcy.
"As of now we're not going everywhere and its because of the customers that keep coming back and supporting us," says Adams.
"Donuts make the world a better place."