Over the course of the pandemic many people have had to re-invent themselves after being laid-off or furloughed from their dream jobs. One recently laid-off Disney cast member is using her baking skills to keep her hopeful and busy.
Olivia Gismervik had been working as a sous chef for Disney’s catering team the past 5 years.
“It was a really special experience to be a part of so many people’s weddings and their family events,” Gismervik said. “Disney was such a great experience for me and I really did get so many skills that I have from working with them.”
But in March, when COVID-19 arrived in Florida she was furloughed.
“Most of us thought it was just gonna be a couple of weeks. I don’t think any of us imagined that it would go this long,” she recalled.
She then turned her focus to baking and offering cookies to friends and family on Facebook.
“I just started posting, ‘hey I have this up for sale’ or ‘hey, I’m delivering this to your door this weekend.’ And I managed to stay really busy during furlough,” the 27-year-old said. “Once a week I’d go out and I drop everything at everybody’s doors.”
Gismervik went from once-a-week deliveries to selling non-stop.
“I am totally, totally sold out for Christmas. I cannot make any more boxes if I tried,” she said about the assorted box of cookies she makes and packages from her home in Auburndale.
She also makes gingerbread man cookies. For Halloween and Christmas, she made cookie decorating kits. All of which quickly sell out.
Gismervik first got a taste for baking from her family.
“I grew up cooking in the kitchen with my mom, and my aunts, and my dad and you know they were all foodies,” she said.
Now her skills have helped her become an entrepreneur.
“My hope is to expand my business and continue to offer met the quality of you know food that I do,” Gismervik said. “I’m working right now on getting my business license so I can officially practice as a private chef and be able to do more savory food aside from baked goods.”
People interested in purchasing some of Gismervik’s homemade goods can follow her on Instagram @oliviagismervik or on her Facebook business page @oliviaskitchenorlando.