2020 brought us a worldwide pandemic that affected all of our lives, and our communities as a whole. At the Front Street Community Oven, the community came together – safely – to share the magic of food and fire.

Our 2020 season was shorter than usual: To observe restrictions in place, take the time to establish safety protocols, and train our staff and volunteers on them, we delayed opening until July.

We used that time to create a system that allowed small groups to gather and cook together while maintaining social distancing. Thanks to this, we were glad to host a number of bookings and open events at the oven without compromising safety or the magic of the Oven as an experience:

Open Ovens on Saturdays created new connections and friendships after long times of isolation, Building Bridges events (with funding from Central and Eastern Kings Health Boards) provided free food at the Oven while connect us across divides, and we learned tons of new fun skills at special workshops like the Pita Workshop that Firemaster Ahmed kindly hosted for us. Because of Covid we were only open of a few months in 2020, but together, we brought the Oven to life despite tricky times.

A big huge thank you goes out to our community – our volunteer Firemasters, our regulars, our first-time visitors, our donors, supporters, and partners; you bring our original vision of creating a space that is created by community-members for community-members to life!

This season, we hope for many more casual gatherings at the oven. We recognize, though, that the pandemic is far from over, so we will maintain all of our safety protocols, keeping our well-being as a community as our top priority.

Our first Open Oven is set for Saturday, July 3rd, and we are looking forward to gathering with old friends, and making new ones!