Pandemic leads some to new passions

Pandemic frustrations leading some to find new passions in life.

COOPER CITY, Fla. – Over the course of this pandemic, many people have been forced out of jobs that could no longer be supported when businesses were shut down.

For some, adversity has turned to opportunity as they explore, and succeed, in endeavors they never imagined.

Among them, a young man who left his dream in New York City to find something equally fulfilling right back here in South Florida.

Ever since he was six years old, Spencer Perdeck has had a passion for acting, prompted by a push from his mom as way to get over his shyness.

What started in local community theatre landed him years later as a student at NYU.

“I felt so lucky that i was accepted and been living there for the past six years of my life, four of them in school and two of them not, and thanks to the pandemic I’m back here in South Florida,” said Spencer Perdeck.

The loss of opportunities to practice his craft in the Big Apple led Perdeck to discover a new passion, right in the kitchen of his families Cooper City home.

“I was just baking, especially for Friday night Shabbat, making challah,” he said.

Perdeck admits his first attempts were far from fantastic, which made him determined to improve and that effort paid off.

“Family and friends tried it and said this is so good you need to sell this and i really brushed it off because I’m an actor, not a baker, and then it just so happened that enough people said ‘you need to sell this’ and I said ‘okay,” he said.

From there Chollywood Challah was born as Perdeck dug his hands into an entirely new process.

“I just added a ‘C’ in front of Hollywood because challah is spelled with a ‘ch’ but it’s pronounced with an ‘H’ sound so I thought it would be cute,”

He now bakes, packages and delivers his two pound loaves of Chollywood Challah across South Florida.

“Who knew, who knew I would have this new skill and love and see it grow and who knows what the next step is for Chollywood Challah,” Perdeck said.

He said this new found success has not diminished his dream of becoming an actor; he simply now has two passions.

About the Authors:

Louis Aguirre is an Emmy-award winning journalist who anchors weekday newscasts and serves as WPLG Local 10’s Environmental Advocate.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.