BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - 2020 was a rough year for South Mississippi’s small businesses with the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering store fronts and the hurricane season causing damages.
But, Last Minute Sweets managed to stay afloat into the new year, despite major setbacks.
“Just two small town girls, that’s what it all started on,” co-owner Tiffany Reid said.
She opened the bakery with her best friend of 20 years, Tiffany Reid, in downtown Biloxi. It was the close relationship the bakers had that helped kick off the business during the beginning of the health crisis.
“We officially opened in June.” Reid said.
Both owners showed confidence while the virus limited customers and revenue at stores across the country.
“We thought we were crazy but we knew we could do it.” said co-owner Nikole Hatfield.
And the buzz surrounding the new business helped pay the bills.
“It didn’t even seem like it was a pandemic,” Hatfield said.
However, their luck dramatically changed when Hurricane Zeta came to shore in October.
“We had to start over.” said Hatfield.
The strong winds and storm surge caused significant damage to the bakery.
“We lost our whole roof. Everything in here was pretty much underwater.” Reid said.
The hurricane left the new business owners with virtually nothing.
“We cried a lot,” Hatfield said. Took pictures, cried more.”
But three months after the storm, the duo has slowly made their comeback with renovations and a positive outlook.
“We’re going strong still,” Hatfield said. “So we’re excited.”
The business owners said the rough 2020 taught them how to be resilient, an ideal they hope to continue in the new year.
“We were working non-stop trying to get everything back,” Reid said.
Part of their drive to return was to see a change from the year’s typical hardship.
“We want to see small businesses thrive because so many are having to shut down.” said Reid.
They credit their loyal customers and their loved ones for the support so far and they hope to continue to grow and bake for their community into the new year and many more.
“(We’re) bringing Biloxi back one bagel at a time,” Reid said.