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'Today is a very bittersweet day.' Scarlet’s Bakery closing retail locations due to COVID-19 impact

The bakery has operated in Louisville since December 2015. Sales to support the bakery's non-profit parent, Scarlet's Hope, will continue online.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Scarlet’s Bakery, a Louisville business known for creating delicious treats and having a heart for women, is ending its retail services on May 13. Rachelle Starr, the owner and founder of Scarlet’s Bakery, made the announcement on Facebook Wednesday.

“Today is a very bittersweet day,” Starr said in the post. The social enterprise bakery has been operating in Louisville for the last five years, with locations in St. Matthews and Shelby Park.

Starr cited the impact of COVID-19 as the reason for the closure.

“As a nonprofit organization, COVID-19 has had an extreme impact on our business and funding,” she said.

Unfortunately this is a trend seen around the state and country as small businesses and nonprofits feel the strains of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We recognize that not all businesses will survive this crisis and that is a true tragedy of this situation," Greater Louisville Inc. President and CEO Sarah Davasher-Wisdom said. "Food expires. Restaurants have to be able to know when they're coming back online so they can order that food. If supply chain is an issue, they have to be able to know."

Scarlet’s Bakery is an extension of Starr’s non-profit organization Scarlet Hope, which ministers to women in the adult entertainment industry. The bakeries served as a training facility to help these women learn skills for new careers.

"It's more than just a bakery," former volunteer and loyal customer Kate Amin said. "There's tons of bakeries in this city, but this one is actually standing for a purpose and a mission that is very needed."

While the physical retail stores are closing, the mission of the bakery will continue through an online shop. You will be able to buy Scarlet Bakery’s treats that you can make at home, and all profits will continue to help the women involved with Scarlet Hope.

“We will focus our efforts on rebuilding our social enterprise model to create more jobs than ever before,” Starr said.

Scarlet’s Bakery will honor all catering orders that have already been placed and curbside orders of $20 or more placed through May 13 will have a free t-shirt added, while supplies are available.

RELATED: Sullivan University's 'The Bakery' closing, refocusing on baking and pastry arts education


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