Local restaurant steps up to help East Lansing bakery business

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– We’ve all been talking about staying local for the holidays, but one small gesture from a restaurant is paying off for a bakery in East Lansing.

Katherine Karamol is the co-owner of Mitten Raised bakery in East Lansing and says just like any other small business, they’ve faced struggles during this pandemic.

Karamol says she spoke with the owners of Saddleback Barbeque and decided to make a video to post on Saddleback’s Facebook page. The video highlighted her bakery and what people can do to help.

“Everyone wants to come together and do something but it’s more of we need action, more than just sharing and liking,” said Karamol, “to keep businesses alive you have to do more than just saying you love a bakery and telling your friends about it, then not going and buying from it.”

She says she hopes the video gets the message across that small businesses really do need help from their community to keep their doors open.

The video was posted Wednesday, and after only being up a day, there were already more than 100,000 views and 1,400 shares.

“We have had a complete turnaround with business,” Karamol said, “I went to bed around 11, and by the time I woke up at 3 with my son, we had around 63 more orders and they just kept coming in.”

Donations and gifts were also dropped off to the bakery. One gift was personal to Katherine.

Ornament dropped off by a family to Katherine after her dog Zoey passed away

“We named a Zoey bar after my dog Zoey, who just recently passed…the note said ‘you don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but our dog had recently passed as well so we feel your pain’ and they donated me and made an ornament that said in loving memory of Zoey,” Karamol said.

She says the huge response gave her some new confidence.

“It kind of gave me a new outlook and you know I’m a little more determined, I was never going to give up, we were never going to close our doors, I’m not letting this knock us down, we put way too much into this and so did my family,” Karamol added.

From the orders to the Facebook shares, it’s just a glimpse of the impact just one local business can have on an entire community.

“It’s just been great and the fact that they take the time to help someone else…. it’s what everyone needs to do, look what it’s done for us…. I’m just speechless for what it did for us,” said Karamol.

She says they have been short staffed and are trying to get to every order, so if you did order and haven’t heard back, they will get to your order.

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