COVID-19 has had an enormous economic impact on everyone. Zac's Sweet Shop, the small business launched by USC junior Zac Coughlin last fall, is no different. While  is currently dealing with these economic fallouts. I spoke with Zac about how he's been coping.

BGHow is your business coping?

ZC: It’s a weird time for small businesses. Not only a small business, but also being a start up business launching just 6 months ago, the pandemic was definitely something I never expected. It hurt a lot of the newly planned revenue streams that I was hoping to begin heading into summer.

My goal for summer 2020 was to start ideating and executing physical pop ups and events. However, this quickly changed. I am now focusing more time and energy into the marketing and development of my direct-to-consumer e-commerce store as well as Postmates and Caviar on weekends in the LA area (for now). This will hopefully make delivery seamless and avoid contact, especially during COVID-19. In a weird way, the pandemic has helped Zac’s Sweet Shop in reaching new customers through gifting care packages and giving customers comfort food/desserts during this tough time.

BG: What have you had to adjust in order to account for the virus?

ZC: The virus has definitely changed the production process. I used to rotate who was in the kitchen helping me create and ship out all products, depending on what friends were available to help me out.

Now, I have one baker as well as myself to limit the amount of people in my facility. I also minimize the amount of baking and shipping days to just 2. One day for baking and another day to finish baking and package. These days have now become really long, but it’s what is needed to ensure quality, taste, and safety! You just have to make it work!

BG: Where do you think this pandemic will leave Zac’s Sweet Shop in the aftermath?

ZC: I think it definitely will leave me even more appreciative and motivated. Seeing customers, who have become like friends and family to me support the sweet shop through orders, telling friends, sharing social media posts and so on, it made me realize how special being entrepreneur is. It’s easy as one entrepreneur to get caught up in everything not going right, especially during COVID-19, but in a positive sense I’ve reached new customers and helped sweeten these days just a bit and that is priceless.

Now, when the pandemic is over, I will be more motivated than ever to start activating some of the exciting ideas I have in the works.

BG: How is Zac’s Sweet Shop playing its role in helping to fight the pandemic, if any?

ZC: At the end of the day, I started Zac’s because I wanted to make everyone’s day just a little happier. Crazy enough, nothing has changed when it comes to my mission, and if anything, I hope my sweets make these tough days all the more better and worthwhile. When life feels like it’s never ending, I hope a cookie dough truffle or a cookies and cream cookie can brighten someone’s day. Zac’s Sweet Shop gives the opportunity for people to send quarantine care packages which are always a fun surprise. It’s exciting to see all the packages go across the country with cute notes loved ones send to each other.

All leftover sweets every week I always make sure to donate to different hospitals around here in LA. I also am currently doing a social media giveaway where followers can tag health care providers and I will select a few to send a box too. Additionally, I am giving people the opportunity to sponsor a sweet box to different units as well.

Zac's Sweet Shop is now available for delivery on Postmates and Caviar on weekends in the LA area. In addition, Zac is offering a special discount for Spoon readers of 20% off with the code SPOON.