Small businesses partner to rebound from pandemic

Coffee and pastry businesses go hand in hand
Posted at 7:05 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 19:05:49-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Coming full circle, small businesses in Tallahassee are forming new partnerships to rebound from the pandemic.

One of those businesses is brewing up new ways to support other businesses while keeping customers’ money within the community. Ology Brewing is known for its beer in Tallahassee.

“Ology started doing coffee and distilling during the pandemic,” explained Jason Card, coffee manager with Ology. On top of the new brews, “on Fridays, we’ve been bringing in bakers from outside to give them some exposure,” he added.

Michael Hicks owns one of those partner bakeries.

“It’s just a partnership event putting good pastries and baked goods with good coffee,” Hicks explained. His business is called Expanding Circles. He says it’s a venture he whipped up in the middle of the pandemic.

“I was managing a pizza place. Three bars in the same shopping center closed down. Traffic came to almost a halt,” Hicks said. Starting in his home, he eventually moved to the Frenchtown Commercial Kitchen. There, he was able grow what he had into something for the community.

“I’m just really grateful for Tallassee’s support,” Hicks said.

It’s a mission that goes beyond just coffee and donuts.

“I can tell you 20 names of people who you’re supporting when you support Expanding Circles Bakery,” Hicks added.

He gets his ingredients from local farmers and fruit growers.

“That’s the coolest thing about this small business has been showing we can help each other,” Hicks said.

“Even if you’re doing a really good job and you’re paying attention to everything, it’s still hard and it’s good to get every kind of support you can,” Card explained.

These two businesses plan on continuing their partnership through the pandemic and beyond.

Ology is partnering with other bakeries in the Tallahassee area for their pop-up cafes Friday mornings this summer.