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Long before we opened Our Kind Kitchen, we ran a small bakery and delicatessen in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado.

Every morning I’d bake fresh breads and pastries. Donna handled the grill—breakfast sandwiches, burgers, Friday fish fries. Our six-year-old twins, Jesse and Jacob, would buss the bakery’s tables, making a killing in tips.

That was a lifetime ago, and yet just yesterday.

What I’ve missed most about those days are the people. My baking table faced the counter, and each time a customer placed an order I’d look up to see who it was. Sometimes there would be a smile, sometimes a few words, sometimes just a moment of friendly eye contact.

These past two weeks, I’ve enjoyed similar moments of human connection through our bakery windows. As a wholesale operation, we had often kept our privacy shutters closed. But now that we’re accepting online orders, we’ve pushed the shutters aside so that we can offer a smile and a wave when a customer picks up their pastries or pot pies from our table outside.

In these strange days of social distancing and stay-at-home orders and no-contact pickups, even the briefest moment of eye contact is welcome and refreshing. We’ve been happy to connect with so many new people—all of you our neighbors—even if it has been mainly through email or Facebook or our bakery’s glass window panes.

Inside, exciting things are happening at Our Kind Kitchen. Beyond offering direct sales to customers for the first time, we have also recently received a generous donation to our charitable operation, F.A.S.T. Ministries. Because of that, we will soon be able to provide hundreds of nutritious, gluten- and dairy-free meals to people in our communities who can use a little help putting dinner on the table. We hope to share more on that soon.

For now, our heartfelt thanks to all of our customers, new and old. We hope to see you soon outside our front window.

-Keith Moran, head baker