The Modern Betty in Gilbert prints masks for healthcare workers

Lifestyle | 28 Jun |

The Modern Betty is known for the delicious cookies it sells at markets in the southeastern Valley. Gilbert resident Crystal Huggins established the bakery in 2018 after friends and family kept asking for her recipes. With help from the Junior League of Phoenix, Crystal launched her company and now sells over 15 varieties of yummy cookies. 

Accustomed to doing most of its business at the Made With Love Market, The Modern Betty had to make major changes when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and all in-person business was forced to halt. “That was when we decided we were going to do something different,” Huggins said, so she and her husband Brian moved The Modern Betty’s business to online ordering and delivery. They reached out to their loyal customers asking where they could find them and then spent Saturdays delivering cookies. The Modern Betty’s customers spread the word and from there, “it grew organically,” Huggins said. “We adapted with the times to stay in business and make it work,” adds Brian. 

Crystal and Brian Huggins, co-owners of The Modern Betty, a bakery in Gilbert, have 3D printed over 400 masks for healthcare workers since March.

But bringing tasty cookies to your doorstep isn’t the only good The Modern Betty is doing for the community. Now, it is 3D-printing masks. After someone in Crystal’s network posted a Montana neurosurgeon’s 3D mask design, asking if anyone could print a prototype, Crystal and Brian stepped up and began printing masks in three sizes. (The company’s 3D printer was initially used to make cookie cutters.) 

When it announced it would be giving masks to frontline workers for free, The Modern Betty was instantly flooded with requests. “People were very excited about this because of the shortage of PPE [personal protective equipment] materials,” Huggins explained. The waitlist was so long that Crystal and Brian bought a second 3D printer to keep up with demand. For the next few weeks, The Modern Betty handed out masks to nurses, hospital workers, police squads, and frontline workers free of charge, only asking that those who were able to donate did. 

Crystal discovered that many of her customers were nurses or had family members who were essential workers who needed PPE. Like when the business transitioned to delivery, The Modern Betty’s following shared news of the masks and Crystal and Brian were able to outfit tons of people with PPE. 

“The purpose of the mask is to allow your existing PPE to stretch six times longer than it would normally,” Brian said. “One surgical mask can be cut down six times to fit within this mask to extend the life of your PPE.” 

Since March, The Modern Betty has printed over 400 masks and now, the masks are available to the general public for a $10 donation to help offset the costs of the printer and materials. “We just want to continue to provide a service to the community,” Brian said. “And whether it’s through the masks and helping out our first responders…or providing delicious cookies to both enjoy and take their minds off of everything that’s going on right now with the pandemic.” 

Head to The Modern Betty’s website to place an online order. Order by 12 p.m. on Friday for delivery on Saturday. 

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