“When [the pandemic] first hit us in March, our business just stopped,” remembers Scott Chapin. “It was scary.” He and wife Juli’s business, CakeSafe, manufactures essentials for the baking industry, most famously a portable, durable acrylic container to transport cakes. However, when the weddings they relied so heavily on came to a halt, Chapin found himself refocusing on what his business could do – and turned to the overwhelming amount of plexiglass at their disposal.
“It seemed to be a pretty obvious transition to go from making the products that we had been and simply re-do diagrams and drawings and come up with ideas to make those that can help restaurants and whomever needs it,” Chapin explains. Today, alongside icing scrapers, decorating tools, and sugar shacks, you can find acrylic protective barriers in CakeSafe’s product lineup.
“They’re simple shields,” Chapin says. As of now, they have eight basic designs. The plexiglass is cut at their Peace Dale headquarters and ships anywhere; they’ve sent many as far as Chicago and Texas, and installed as close to home as Cantina del Rio in Wakefield. They’ve sold hundreds of units, for dividing everything from desks to cashiers, to several local businesses, including The Prout School in Wakefield, Cool Beans Cafe in Narragansett, and Beehive Cafe in Bristol. They even installed several barriers at South County Hospital, which initially requested six units, then called back day after day to ask for more.
Thanks to the quick pivot – and PPP loan from Westerly Community Credit Union – CakeSafe is back on its feet, and even seeing their original business pick up (turns out the cake box is equally as effective in protecting from germs!). “We’re keeping the doors open and hopefully we’re helping people,” says Chapin. “That’s what things are really about – making products that help people.”