Corvallis residents share hopes for next year


Jason May

Nicholas Piscopo (right) a freshman at OSU, talks to reporter Ginnie Sandoval in downtown Corvallis on Nov. 10. Piscopo spoke about looking forward to this year and beyond at OSU.

Ginnie Sandoval, News Contributor

As 2022 comes to a close, Corvallis residents share how the last year has impacted them and what their hopes are for the coming new year. 

For Corvallis’ younger and older generations, the last year has come with both big and small changes. Oregon State University freshman, Nicholas Piscopo, says that he has undergone many changes this year.

“It’s been really great. It’s nice to get away from computers and finally feel normal again,” Piscopo said. 

After spending at least half of his time in high school virtually learning, he now gets to enjoy living in the dorms and going to classes in person. Next year he looks forward to continuing to have a normal education and potentially living off campus. 

As for Beth Walls, a retired Corvallis resident, things this year have pretty much stayed the same. 

“I haven’t changed anything,” Walls said. “I still go out and do my normal activities.” 

Walls delivers for Meals on Wheels in Albany and since they never shut down, she continued doing what she does. 

Next year, Walls hopes things will change enough to be able to enjoy life a little more.

In March of this year, Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and since then, many businesses have had to start again. Corvallis resident for twelve years Elisa Streicher works at Sabor, a small business owned by her sister, selling sweet and savory Tamales at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. 

Streicher said that when the restrictions were lifted, they hoped to get back to the way it was before, but found they were faced with many new obstacles presenting in the business of food. 

“It’s like we’re starting all over again,” Streicher said. “At first, it was hard because people were still scared of getting sick, but sales have started to get better the more confident people are about being out.”

This year, Streicher realized that even with the mandate no longer in place, people are more hesitant to eat food prepared outside of a restaurant. So now, even though their tamales are frozen, they take extra precautions and are always making sure their customers know that their tamales are prepared with extreme care. 

As for next year, Streicher said there is some concern over talk about an impending recession. 

“Things are getting much more expensive. The price of chicken compared to last year is twice as much. It’s the same thing with pork and vegetables,” Streicher said.

They also have difficulty obtaining the products they need because, with all the employee shortages, there are no drivers to deliver the materials for the distribution trucks.

Despite these potential worries, Streicher still has hopes that next year will continue to get better. 

One Corvallis business owner says that they were lucky enough to continue to thrive during the pandemic. April Hall-Cutting, owner of Wild Yeast Bakery, has lived in Corvallis for 15 years and opened Wild Yeast Bakery nine years ago. 

“People kept eating during covid, so our sales never dropped off,” Hall-Cutting said. 

Wild Yeast Baking Company provides direct delivery services to their customers and has a stand every Saturday at the Farmer’s Market. Hall-Cutting says this all contributed to their continued growth and strength during the pandemic. 

This year, with the restrictions lifted, Wild Yeast Bakery has continued to do even better and is finally able to open a physical location in Corvallis. 

As for next year’s expectations, Hall-Cutting says there is some concern over higher prices and having to raise their own to meet them.

“I’m sad about that. But people are always going to need to eat and our bread is organic and made from really high-quality ingredients,” Hall-Cutting said. 

Hall-Cutting believes that the quality of their bread and pastries along with their reputation, they will get through the unforeseeable future.

While next year may be unpredictable, one Corvallis resident is very optimistic. Linn Benton Community College student and long-time Senior Employee for Wild Yeast Bakery, Ciera Hilkey, talks about going to college during and after the pandemic. 

“When I would go to the campus, there’d be nobody there because most people were still online,” Hilkey said. “I’m in student leadership and this is the first year where I have in-person classes, so it’s all been really exciting school-wise.” 

Hilkey said that being a part of student leadership has been really fun because she finally gets to help plan events again. Next year she looks forward to managing a larger course load and steadily moving upward. 

“I plan to just continue having a positive outlook on life and working on myself,” Hilkey said.

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