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Local nurse turns COVID burnout into baked goods

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 17:04:30-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Crystal Leduc wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl.

"The first present I ever remember getting was a nurse kit with a stethoscope and things like that," Leduc said. "So I've always wanted to be a nurse. I love caring for people."

She realized that dream shortly before the pandemic.

"I actually started out my nursing career in pediatric intensive care," she said.

She carried her skills into COVID care, at Capital Regional Medical Center, even while carrying a bundle of her own.

"I just had a baby, so I was pregnant while I was caring for COVID patients."

But, two years into the pandemic, it became too much to bear.

"Part of my job was, unfortunately, once a patient expired, I would have to help complete their death paperwork," Leduc explains. "And I would write so many birthdays down that were close to mine. Like it was so unfortunate to see so many people my age passing away."

That's when Crystal and her husband Chris decided to cook up something different.

"So we met with For the Table hospitality," Chris Leduc said. "They owned Madison Social and multiple businesses around town. Honestly, we were meeting with them, we were planning to do a tea shop and kind of a coffee shop but tea centric. ... "And during that conversation kind of joking around, he said, I'd sell you SoDough today."

It was just the fresh start their family needed.

"I really just examined my life and realized how short life could be and it could literally hit anybody at any moment, so I wanted to make sure that I was spreading joy," Crystal said.

Despite a slow start they attribute to COVID cautious shoppers, "On a weekend we probably make anywhere from 2-300 donuts," Chris says. "We're working on that number right now because we've been selling out on weekends.

And as for turning burnout into breakthrough, Crystal says, "It's ok to focus on yourself for a little bit. Take the time that you need. You can't keep pouring from an empty cup, as they say. Take time. Restore your faith. Restore your energy. Chase your dreams."

Soon the couple plans to host an after-hours talk group for other healthcare workers so they can visit for coffee, donuts, and the opportunity to keep each other uplifted.

Right now, healthcare workers, first-line responders, and teachers receive 10% off their purchases.