Feb 23, 2021
A bakery in the tiny town where 'Schitt's Creek' was filmed managed to stay in business through the pandemic partly thanks to a star's glowing review
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Annie Murphy drove up to Goodwood after "Schitt's Creek" wrapped for a stroll and a butter tart at Annina's Bakeshop & Cafe. PopTV/Annina's Bakeshop
- Annina's, a bakery in the real town where "Schitt's Creek" was filmed, has Alexis Rose's approval.
- Annie Murphy, who plays Alexis on "Schitt's Creek," called it the "best bakery" in an interview.
- Her comments helped the Goodwood, Canada, bakery stay in business throughout the pandemic.
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Goodwood, the real town in Ontario where "Schitt's Creek" was filmed, might not have Twyla's Café Tropical, but it does have Annina's Bakeshop & Cafe. And Annie Murphy, who plays Alexis Rose, is a very vocal fan of the store and its baked goods.
Murphy gushed about Goodwood, and Annina's specifically, during an appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" in August a few months after the final season of "Schitt's Creek" aired, explaining that she'd driven back up to the town after feeling "stir-crazy" and "nostalgic."
Much of the Emmy-winning show, which ran for six seasons, was shot on location in Goodwood. Insider reporter Sophie-Claire Hoeller previously wrote that the tiny Canadian hamlet is approximately 28 miles from Toronto and only covers about half a square mile. There are buildings around the town that fans might recognize that served as the exterior shots for local "Schitt's Creek" landmarks like Bob's Garage and Rose Apothecary.
"There's a bakery in Goodwood called Annina's, which is the best bakery," Murphy told Meyers. Murphy said she bought a butter tart, a popular flaky and sweet Canadian delicacy, from Annina's and took a stroll around town before being spotted by a group of tourists.Annina's has been a Goodwood staple for over a decade
Annina's has been run by Ontario native Marco Cassano for the past 12 years. He describes it as "a country shop with gourmet flavors" in the "quiet city" of Goodwood.
"We're only 45 minutes away when there's no traffic, from downtown Toronto, but it's a quiet, quaint, friendly neighborhood," Cassano told Insider.
Cassano describes the Goodwood community as "tight, small, and very friendly" — very similar to the supporting characters who befriend the newly-arrived Rose family in "Schitt's Creek."The exterior of Annina's. Annina's Bakeshop
For six seasons, "Schitt's Creek" followed the misfortunes of the Rose family after they lost their home and almost all of their wealth, except for a town they owned called Schitt's Creek. They begrudgingly relocated there, living at the town's Rosebud Motel while rebuilding their lives from scratch.Annina's provided catering for 5 seasons of the hit show
From the beginning, "Schitt's Creek" filming in Goodwood boosted the bakery's business, starting with getting it involved in the production process.
Annina's split catering duties with an in-house catering service hired by the studio for the first season. The bakery's presence increased as the show progressed, Cassano says, and they even traveled with the cast and crew to various shoots at other locations for seasons four and five.
For the sixth and final season, the show went back to in-house catering as the cast and crew only spent a few days filming in Goodwood.Annina's, as seen in the show credits. Netflix
While they were catering the show, Cassano had plenty of encounters with cast members — and as it turns out, Murphy isn't the only fan of the store among the "Schitt's Creek" cast.
"Eugene [Levy] was great. He would come and buy meat pies," Cassano said.'Schitt's Creek' fan visits and Murphy name-dropping Annina's on TV helped the store maintain strong sales during the pandemic Inside Annina's. Annina's Bakeshop
Cassano told Insider that for the 12 years he's had the store, the last seven have been "pretty busy." He says the business typically served between 500 to 1,000 customers each weekend pre-pandemic. It also offers off-site catering services for weddings and other events in addition to its storefront sales.
While catering for events tapered off during the pandemic due to shutdowns, the influx of tourists visiting Goodwood and increased orders from the US for their butter tart after Murphy's mentioned it during her "Late Night" appearance helped keep their business at roughly the pre-pandemic level, according to Cassano.
"It kept our sales the same, our staffing the same," Cassano said.
In fact, the sheer volume of tourists actually became a concern after Murphy but the bakery on fans' radars. Cassano had to hire two security guards a few weeks after Murphy called it "the best bakery" in order to ensure social-distancing measures remained in place. They were tasked with making sure that only four to six customers were inside at the same time.Dan Levy, pictured here eating a baked treat from Annina's. Annina's Bakeshop
"The health departments actually emailed and they told us, 'You need to find a way to control the crowds that are coming,'" Cassano said.
"Once they heard that we were at the four corners of 'Schitt's Creek,' the health department told me, 'You're going to have a major problem,'" he added.
With the store maintaining strict social distancing inside the building, Cassano said they sometimes have lines of 50 to 60 people waiting outside.
In March 2020, Dan Levy, one of the stars and a co-creator of the show, asked fans of the show to be considerate and not visit Goodwood during the pandemic.
"The towns where we shot Schitt's Creek were so lovely and accommodating to us. Please show them the same respect. Visiting right now is a threat to the residents' health and safety," Levy said.—dan levy (@danjlevy) March 23, 2020
While Cassano expects the current sky-high interest in Annina's to level out over the summer, he's hopeful it'll continue enough that he can avoid laying off any staff members — thanks partially to the spotlight "Schitt's Creek" and Murphy have put on his bakery.
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider's parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.
News Source: insider.com
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