You’re probably tired of hearing about the coronavirus and its effects on society. I know I am. Unfortunately, it’s the dominating topic that guides nearly everything right now. That is especially true when it comes to bakeries. While we all wish there was a magic eraser that could wipe the virus away and get us back to normal, that just isn’t the case.

In the meantime, bakeries are looking for answers about how to respond to a decrease in foot traffic in the age of social distancing. Many have utilized creative and inspiring strategies to make up for these lost sales. They’ve pivoted to delivery and curbside pickup. They’ve found ways to help others, and in doing so, help themselves. They’ve even forged strong connections with other industries in the hopes of pulling each other up.

The ingenuity of bakery owners across the country has been exciting to see. Another reason to be excited will occur later this year, when National Bakery Day, organized by the Retail Bakers of America, takes place. Once a year, independent, retail bakeries look to celebrate what makes them special by welcoming in customers for limited-edition items and winning promotions. This year, that mission takes on a larger meaning.

It’s hard to say where we’ll be in September 2020. Just three months ago, we couldn’t be able to tell what June 2020 would look like. As cities and states begin to allow businesses to open back up, the prevailing hope is that a sense of normalcy may return by this summer and fall. If that’s the case, National Bakery Day in September will not only be a chance for bakeries to celebrate this sweet “holiday,” but also to celebrate community in a whole new way.

The coronavirus has kept us separate for a long time. Retail bakeries are an essential part of their towns and cities, and they represent that communal feeling we all strive for in our lives. In the coming months, and especially on Friday, September 25, we’ll join together to enjoy tasty treats, socialize with our neighbors and experience joy in a way that only bakeries can provide.