Three months ago, Chelsey Columbus beloved gourmet scone business was forced to shut down without her control.
Upon arriving to work in October 2022 at her commercial kitchen, she received the troubling news that the space she was renting would be closing down indefinitely, beginning the next day.
Columbus told Victoria Buzz that she was caught off guard and her life was completely altered by the sudden news.
“I was pretty scared and devastated. I just had my whole business ripped out from under me.”
Without time to process the situation, Columbus was forced to immediately call friends and family to safely move all of her items late into the night.
“My dad, my uncles and my friends helped throughout the middle of the night moving everything into the garage and my spare bedrooms to try and store everything because I was told it would all be repossessed by the next day,” said Columbus.
With her only source of income now jeopardized, Columbus was forced to take an abrupt pause and reassess her options.
Shut down and uncertain of her future, the talented baker wrote to her loyal customers on social media in search of advice and support.
“I’m kind of screwed. This is my only way that I make a living, so I am just scrambling to make my next move. Do I keep going the way I’ve always done it? Do I open my own shop? Do I pause, re-group, and work for someone else for a while,” asked Columbus.
After weighing her options and receiving a number of suggestions from local restaurant owners, Columbus decided it was time to establish a bakery of her own.
“I would love to have the opportunity to control whether or not my business is succeeding or failing. Now I have a five year lease and I know that I’m safe in my new spot,” said Columbus.
With an official opening date still up in the air, Columbus aims to launch Sidney Scones around mid-February.
As for Sidney Scones participation in community events such as the Sidney Market, Columbus is open to the idea, depending on the location.
“I heard that Beacon Avenue could be the new downtown setting for the Sidney Market. If that was the case, because I have a storefront, I could be a vendor on the street as well,” said Columbus.
“I would absolutely be a part of that in any way that I could. Even if it wasn’t downtown Sidney I might still try and be a part of the Sidney Market because that is where I started my business.”
- Where: Sidney Scones, 9762 Third Street
- When: February 2023