Standing outside of the Little Red Hen and talking with owner Emily Walker, a brief interruption occurred right before we got on the mic for our interview.
A car pulled up and an elderly gentleman got out with a loaf of bread. After exchanging it at the window, Walker only had one question.
“Is there anything wrong with your bread?” Followed quickly by “We just want to make sure your bread is yummy.”
This type of attitude from ownership is one of the reasons that the Little Red Hen has continued to trend even during the current pandemic.
The last few months have seen interactions at the Salida bakery change, but Walker says the amount of baking they do daily has not changed, although some of the best sellers have. Less sweet breads and more of the sandwich loaves and sourdough starters was one example Walker gave.
The product is still flying off the shelves though, and that has been a blessing, as The Little Red Hen has not had to lay off anyone through the entirety of the pandemic. A source of pride for Walker.
The time has also allowed the business to refocus on local products, and now virtually all of the scratch goods coming in are local, including butter from Sawatch, flour from Monte Vista and fresh eggs from local farmers. And all of that will be featured from now on, and will be available to locals who want to bake from home.
Walker says while she wants the in person interaction again, that is one of the only changes made at the bakery that she expects will revert back. The new ways of serving the community out of her corner bakery she hopes are here for good.