Eric Merkle, bakery manager in the department of dining services, spoke about the Thanksgiving bake sale held by the University of Connecticut in preparation for the upcoming holiday.
Merkle said they held the sale through a completely online format. In particular, he said they used the dining marketplace on their official website.
“We did the bake sale 100% online this year through the dining marketplace on our dining.uconn.edu page,” Merkle said.
Merkle said the results of the bake sale were surprising to him as they were better than he expected them to be. He believes this is due to the fact that people are becoming more comfortable with
“Being that this was the first year we did the pie sale 100% online, our sales were better than I thought they would be,” Merkle said. “I think people are getting used to buying food online.”
Merkle reflected on the most popular items they sold, attributing some of their success to the large following they have year-round. He said other popular items like their gingerbread displays for the president’s office did not make an appearance at this year’s sale due to the time and cost required to make them.
“I think people are getting used to buyign food online.”
“Our house-made, chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons, dinner rolls and pies are some of our best sellers. We serve these items year-round in the dining halls, and they have a large following,” Merkle said. “The other very popular item is the gingerbread displays that we make for the Lodewick Visitors Center, president’s office and catering. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, these places for the most part are not open during the winter break. It just wasn’t worth the time and expense to make them.”
Merkle explained that patrons have generally been positive when providing feedback. He said many of them were long-time customers who were excited to see the sale occurring despite the online format.
“The feedback from patrons is positive. A lot of them have been ordering baked goods from us for years,” Merkle said. “They are excited that we were able to still have the pie sale this year.”
Merkle attributed much of the sale’s success to the talented team behind the scenes. He said the sale could not have happened without the work they had done behind the scenes.
“We are extremely lucky to have a very talented and dedicated staff of bread bakers, pastry chefs and assistants,” Merkle said. “They are what make the pie sale happen.”