East TN businesses face challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has continued to strain many of our local businesses. Here are just a few of their stories.


WBIR Staff, Alex Myers, Yvonne Thomas


8:37 AM EDT March 22, 2021


6:25 AM EDT March 25, 2021




TENNESSEE, USA — Dear Covid, 

It has been one year since you’ve turned our lives upside down and that includes many businesses across East Tennessee.

Part 1

Lambert’s Southern Pies and Bake Shop in Maryville closed its doors on St. Patrick’s Day of 2020. Since reopening, owners Angela and Charlie Lambert talk about the challenges they have faced, what they have learned and why they continue to remain hopeful. 

Part 2

The Soup Kitchen in Oak Ridge has been in business for 40 years. When the pandemic hit, the restaurant shut down for indoor dining and was forced to survive on deliveries. The Soup Kitchen’s General Manager Lucas Sexton talks about the obstacles they’ve faced and how they’ve continued to persevere.

Part 3

The BAAKK Boutique in Sevierville is a family-owned business, in fact Brandon, April, Abby, Kylie and Kensley make up the store’s name! Through faith, family and fashion, they share their story of going through the pandemic. 

Part 4

When the pandemic hit, the music and entertainment industry shut down across the country. Performers at the Grand Majestic Theater in Pigeon Forge are finally taking the stage again. They share their story of how they became innovative during the pandemic and how they plan to ultimately prevail.

All week long, we are sharing pandemic experiences of local businesses, who have faced many challenges and hardships, but have persevered through it all. You can watch the “Dear Covid” series at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. On 10News Today. 

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