Bill Hansich, owner of Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop, wanted to do something sweet for the senior students graduating from Red Wing High School this year. The teens finished school on a difficult note,the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, with traditional commencement plans upended amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The small business owner initially planned to bake and donate a cake for all 220 members of the Red Wing senior class last month. However, word quickly spread, and donations poured in from schools, parents, residents and other business owners with requests to bake cakes for their seniors, too.
To date, Hanisch Bakery has produced more than 800 free, frosted cakes for 2020 grads at 12 schools, Hanisch told told “America’s Newsroom” host Ed Henry during a recent appearance.
“It started out as an idea to support our seniors here in Red Wing and it grew and blossomed. We are accepting donations, because 12 towns and 800 cakes is a lot of baking!” he joked.
Acknowledging that the feat has been a “labor of love” for the staff, Hanisch described the support from the local community as “absolutely amazing.”
Though times are challenging, the baker said that he hopes the free cakes encourage the senior students to celebrate their achievements and look forward to bright futures ahead.
“Life is going to throw you curveballs… but this is a way to show them that their community is going to support them now, and down the road,” Hanisch said of the effort.
According to the Star Tribune, the 7-inch, two-layer cakes typically retail for $28, and the donations are covering only the cost. The bakery is turning no profit on the sweet treats for the senior students.