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How a non-profit helped this Seattle bakery survive the pandemic

Temple Pastries is the dream of baker Christina Wood - but when the pandemic struck, the GSBA stepped in to help with a grant. #k5evening

SEATTLE — You can worship at the altar of the cruffin at Temple Pastries in Seattle's Central District.

Yes, a cruffin.

"People often ask what is a cruffin," owner Christina Wood says. "It's a croissant in a muffin shape."

The cinnamon cream cheese cruffin is just one of the many artful delights at Temple Pastries, as is the chocolate buckwheat cookie. The bakery opened in October 2020, after a few years of successful pop-ups. But the pandemic almost ruined Wood's dreams, and her bank account.

"I was already deep in the process of planning this place out when the pandemic hit," Wood says. "And I had to close my wholesale business during COVID-19. So I had no source of income, my rent was piling up, and I spent all my money trying to get this place open."

That's where the GSBA comes in - the Greater Seattle Business Association, a LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce. When the pandemic hit, they saw businesses were suffering.

"We have to do whatever we can to support these businesses around Washington state," says GSBA VP of Membership & Programs, Ilona Lohrey. "It would be horrible to see any others go out of business."

That's why they created the Ready for Business fund with Comcast, a grant specifically for women-owned, LGBTQ-owned and BIPOC-owned businesses in Seattle. Right now, they're on their second round of grants - and raising money in order to help more businesses.

"Those are the most marginalized businesses that have been left out from funding," says Lohrey. "For us, it's important to keep the most marginalized businesses alive."

Credit: KING 5
This is the cinnamon cream cheese cruffin.

Wood was one of the recipients of the first round of grants, and that money made all the difference for Temple Pastries - which is entirely staffed by women.

"Especially in the culinary industry, it's super important to have women heard," Wood says.

Thanks to the Ready for Business fund, Wood has her temple of pastries, and we have cruffins.

"It feels amazing," Wood says. "This is something I've been working towards for ten years of my life. It's just a dream come true. This is just better than I could ever hope for."

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