BURLINGTON — As many as 25% of all American workers suffer from some form of chronic back pain. Among those working in the food industry, it’s likely even higher. It’s the second-most common cause of missed work in the U.S., behind only the common cold.
And now, back pain is forcing a small-batch bakery in Burlington to close.
Megan Schroeder, owner of Hopscotch Cakery, 133 Chestnut St., announced Monday that she is closing the bakery.
“I am no longer satisfied living in pain,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
She continued: “For those of you who do not know, the food industry is an incredibly hard one to work in. It is absurdly hard on the body. Five years ago, I had to have foot surgery because when I would get home from decorating cakes I would barely be able to stand.
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“It’s been two years since I opened Hopscotch Cakery, and I am sad to announce I will be shutting it down. I have struggled with severe back pain for more than those two years. I have seen doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and a medical masseuse, but none of them have truly helped me get to a point where I don’t spend every night laying on ice and heating pads to help deal with the pain.”
Schroeder isn’t alone. “Every year in the general population, 4 out of every 1,000 individuals become disabled because of back pain,” notes a 2008 international study. And a 2020 study found that Americans spend more on neck pain and back pain ($134 billion from 1996-2016) than they do on any other ailments.
“Oh my I’m so sorry to hear this, will you go back to making anything out of your home?” one supporter asked in a Facebook comment. Schroeder replied that she is considering it, to which the supporter replied: “Your health is most important, but keep us posted. I’m sure lots of your customers wouldn’t mind stopping by your house for some goodies.”
Another supporter wrote: “We will miss you so much. Your health is what is important. Thank you for all the birthday cakes and cupcakes in between.”
Hopscotch Cakery is to be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the rest of the week, and then from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Most orders already begun will be completed; refunds are to be expected by those who had weddings and other events in the future, Schroeder said.