However, a San Jose woman, known for her homemade pies, has found sweet success. Voahangy Rasetarinera has finally opened her very own storefront.
INTERACTIVE: Here's the reopening status of every Bay Area county
ABC7 News first introduced viewers to Rasetarinera and The Giving Pies on Pi Day in 2019.
Back then, Rasetarinera was a one-woman team, turning out homemade pies from her San Jose kitchen. In an effort to expand her business, she set out for a storefront of her own.
"I really wanted that face-to-face connection with the client," she told ABC7 News on Friday. "Because most of the time, they'd come and pick up, and say, 'Bye bye.' Here, at least I get to talk to them, interact with them."
The interaction she was longing for was made challenging by the pandemic.
RELATED: It's allowed, but is it safe? We asked 3 doctors if they'd go along with orange tier reopenings
"I was at City Hall getting my permit on the day, right before the shutdown," Rasetarinera said.
She eventually landed on a location in the city's Willow Glen neighborhood, at 569 W Alma Ave.
But rent, ever-changing reopening guidelines, construction costs and her usual corporate customers had all been impacted by COVID-19.
"So I was like, 'Oh my gosh! How are we going to make it,'" Rasetarinera shared.
Her winning recipe included farmers markets, fulfilling orders in her new commercial kitchen and following county guidance.
RELATED: When will California reach herd immunity? Maybe June, maybe never
The former IT admin explained she went from dishing out a couple dozen pies a day in her home kitchen, to a couple hundred a day at her storefront.
The Giving Pies storefront officially opened in early February, with Rasetarinera adding a part-time worker to her team.
As business continues to heat up, the hardship brought on by COVID-19 hasn't been lost on the people craving pie.
"That's what I'm here for too," customer, Victoria Amparo told ABC7 News. "Because I know a lot of like, stores closed down since the pandemic. So, I feel bad.
RELATED: Great America, Discovery Kingdom prepare for reopening under latest CA COVID-19 guidelines
Now Rasetarinera's goal is to give back to the community that has kept her in business.
"This year, I would like to have at least two part-time special needs employees," she shared. "That's my driving force. I want to have them have a voice. I want to have them feel, you know, valued, believed in."
When asked if she had any advice for other business owners, Rasetarinera said, "Don't quit."
"We are all together in this, and that's really true," she continued. "People really want to rally behind you and make you successful."
VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine
Having trouble loading the tracker above? Click here to open it in a new window.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under reopening tiers
- Cheat sheet: What you can and can't do after being fully vaccinated
- CA COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker: See your status here
- These CA counties are way ahead in vaccinations
- How to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in every Bay Area county
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- Interactive map shows what's closed and what's reopening in the San Francisco Bay Area
- Data tracker: Coronavirus cases, deaths, hospitalizations in every Bay Area county
- Third stimulus check calculator: See how much you could get
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- Get the latest updates on California EDD, stimulus checks, unemployment benefits
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic