Posted on September 01 2020
This summer, we’re especially grateful for long days and warm temperatures, two hallmarks of the season unaffected by COVID-19. Conversely, it’s been difficult to witness other summer traditions like graduations and weddings celebrated virtually, if at all, in an effort to keep America’s most unwelcomed guest at bay. Adapting our daily lives and workplace routines amidst the pandemic has required ingenuity, grit and resolve. Afterall, “the show must go on”. Boston Pop’s Maestro Keith Lockhart displayed this sentiment when he conducted orchestra members from his living rooms on the 4th of July. Though it wasn’t the same as years past – people celebrating cheek to cheek on the Esplanade – it was a tradition too meaningful to let go. Like the Pops, we could abandon our mission to support local youths with summer employment opportunities. Instead, we adapted the program in the face of COVID-19. The virus has taken away so much from so many. We are humbled to say, it didn’t take away our ability to engage with the youth in our community and make a difference.
Having children of our own, we recognize the negative impact COVID-19 has had on young adults, particularly during this summer of uncertainty. In that regard, we’re fortunate to have offered Lark’s summer youth employment program, albeit adapted to adhere to social distancing and modified schedules. Over the years, it’s been our goal to provide local teens an opportunity to gain work experience in a safe and inclusive environment. In our small-batch baking facility in Essex, students perform tasks ranging from packaging Lark’s unique cookies to marketing and logistics related assignments. Lark’s summer work program fosters community engagement between a diverse group of students and our seasoned year-round staff. Working together requires acceptance, patience and appreciation for talents that all co-workers bring to the table. It exemplifies the cooperative spirit essential to produce our premium “grown-up” cookies.
The students we employ bring a tremendous amount of positive energy to the bakery. (Sometimes we wonder who benefits more from the program, the young adults or us.) They are eager to learn, willing to help and are always up for an impromptu dance party on the line. We believe this atmosphere of hard work, mutual respect and a bit of fun creates a true spirit of cooperation. Our team has persevered during this difficult time. We continue to work tirelessly to create the best shortbread cookies and upscale gifts on the market.
Rest assured that Lark’s work environment is compliant with the safety standards set forth by the CDC. CDC guidelines have been implemented and are the ‘new normal’ in our bakery. The health and safety of our team remains paramount and our commitment to fostering community engagement lives on.