Toronto man bakes over 200 pies for neighbours while in quarantine
“My name is Bradley Harder, and I bake pies,” says the East York resident who has baked over 200 pies during the COVID-19 pandemic, all of which he’s given away free to friends and neighbours.
Harder, who suffers from pulmonary disease and other health issues, spent the early days of the pandemic creating cooking videos and posting them to Facebook while self-quarantining at home. After he ran out of some key ingredients, friends and neighbours who’d been enjoying his videos pitched in to help, dropping off groceries and supplies. Harder was so touched, he baked them all pies to say thank you. The project snowballed, or rather dough-balled, from there.
As his pie production increased, ingredients such as butter, flour, fruit, and sugar started showing up at Harder’s door; gifts from grateful pie recipients. Although the constant baking is taking a toll on Harder's arms and wrists, he has no plans to stop, saying the joy his pies are bringing the community is worth the pain. "I mean, it's such a simple thing. We take things for granted like that," Harder told CBC. "It's just love. It expresses love. You can't eat a pie without a smile on your face. That's my philosophy, and I'm sticking to it."
Along with his pies, Harder also offers this powerful message to Canadians: “I’d like to challenge anybody in any community across Canada to reach out and bake something, or do what you do, and give it away for free. It'll come back to you, I swear. It's a bad business model on paper, but it works. People are good."