On June 20 2013, massive floods devastated many parts of southern Alberta. Here are a few quick follow-ups to some a couple of our market vendors who were affected and how they couldn’t have done it all without the support of you, the loyal customer.
The massive flood of 2013 ripped through High River destroyed the bakery that made our cakes. The entire inventory, supplies, equipment and the entire building were annihilated. Our whisky producer in High River, Highwood Distillers, was also closed for a few months.
Unexpectedly, I received an enormous number of adamant demands from many past and potential AWC consumers to ‘get those cakes back!’ These much-appreciated requests provided the emotional energy, clarity and courage I needed to pick up and start over again.
AWC stopped producing cakes on June 20, but the behind the scenes action didn’t stop. We co-hosted a very successful contest with Western Horse Review for the next featured artist, made a number of changes to the labels, seals, delivery containers and got some processes worked out to ensure cake quality consistently remains at the very highest.
The baker equipped and restocked her initial Calgary in-home commercial bakery. We worked out details with new retailers and, since November, the cakes are available at Calgary Co-op stores in Calgary, High River, Airdrie and Strathmore.
Exactly four months after the flood closed AWC, we picked up 24 test cakes from the interim bakery. Looks like we’re back in the saddle.
As I look back at 2013, we were completely closed for a third of the year, yet our annual sales were almost exactly 50 per cent more than in 2012.
Thank you to our fellow Albertans for their unwavering and loyal support. -Kamla McGonigal, albertawhiskycake.com.