The Village Hive Bakery Uses New Program to Save Business

Amy Powers is the owner of the Village Hive Bakery in Amherst, and in a small town she struggled with keeping her business open.

"I was in a partnership with a baker before," said Powers, "But in a town of 1,000 people I think you have to try something a little new to keep it alive." And that's exactly what she did.

Last October Powers got an idea to open her bakery as a shared-use kitchen. This allows people to rent out the back half of the bakery to make their product. Then sell their product in the front of the store.

Powers says it's a great way for anyone to start their own business.
"People have been really really supportive here. So we've seen our revenue grow every month since we started," said Powers.

Gary Weier, a loyal customer, visits the Hive Bakery every day with his family. "This is just a stop that we make," said Weier, "We like to support local businesses, and our friends."

Seven businesses have already signed up for the shared-use program.

Vickie Vaughn, one of the bakers, says she loves the idea, "Because it's a shared kitchen, it's shared responsibility, shared product and I think for a lot of bakers that's a real problem. They get burned out."

Powers says signing up for the program is easy. The first step is just reaching out to her on Facebook. The bakery also offers classes to teach locals how to make pies and fresh cheese.

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