ORLANDO, Fla. – On a busy day at Beneficial Breads, baker and business owner Colin Reichardt is barely visible despite his hustle and bustle. It’s ubiquitous, welcoming customers, operating the cash register, checking the oven, testing the bread, and even managing the air conditioning technician. There is nothing he won’t do. It shows how big the staff shortage is here. However, he and neighboring merchants have strategically found ways to work together and overcome challenges to make the Winter Garden work for them in the city centre.
“People have done more than just be extraordinary when it comes to community support,” Reichardt said. “However, being staffed is a challenge. There is no other way to say this. It’s a big challenge.”
His business has only had a showcase in town for about three months, but is already well known here. It offers a personal experience where people say they are hungry.
Native German has a great passion for baking bread. Reichardt decided to open a store when he realized that there was a real lack of custom-made breads like his in stores. Since then, news has spread in the local German-speaking community.
The store is overflowing with raves for products in several languages at any given moment.
“They really value bread, because in Germany bread is a very important thing to eat,” he shines.
As people are willing to pay a premium for goods and experience even in the midst of high inflation, he acknowledges what drove his success. Here the price of a loaf starts at $6.
“There have been no complaints about this until now. In other words, we couldn’t cook enough,” he said.
Reichardt claims customers want specialty bread products. They also want to know their bakers.
It’s this kind of demand that allows downtown merchants like Reichardt to create an opening strategy for shorter periods of time using the staff they have. They hold special events throughout the county for people to enjoy the area as a unit.
“One of the most impressive things about our downtown merchants and businesses has been their resilience and ability to spin around and come up with new ideas,” Betsy Sorg, Director of Economic Development and City Center boasts.
However, Reichardt is still recruiting.
Governor Ron DeSantis’ office announced a record low unemployment rate for December at 2.5%. However, jobs are still being added. According to his office, there were about 442,000 different openings posted online.