Rising rents mean Yarralumla’s bakery is set to close after 33 years in business on February 18, with fittings to be sold on Allbids.com and several staff, including one who had worked for the family-run operation for 20 years, left jobless.
The owner, baker and pastry chef Greg Hoitink, will continue to operate Pastries on Perry, his other bakery at Chapman, but everyone else who works in the Yarralumla business, ten staff in total, will be out of a job later this month as a result of the closure.
In a post on Facebook, the bakery thanked customers and staff past and present for their support over 33 years and announced the closure, attributing it to “the landlord asking for unrealistic rents”.
The soon-to-be unemployed include manager Scott Gorham, who has worked there for three years alongside another full-time staff member, Barbara Brooker, who has provided two decades of service to the business since joining the team as a schoolgirl.
“She’s a barista and sandwich hand,” Mr Gorham said of the stalwart Ms Brooker. “Like all of us, she’s an all-rounder … in a small business, everyone’s got to do everything.”
On the baking side, an apprentice and a kitchen hand will lose their jobs, adding to number of baking specialists out of work in Canberra following the sudden closure of Braddon bakery and cafe Autolyse last month.
The Yarralumla Bakery’s last trading day will be February 18, and the store has to be empty by the end of the month.
Equipment currently on site is being auctioned on Allbids.com.
Asked whether the staff would be looking for similar work in food preparation and service, Mr Gorham said, “I think everyone’s looking for anything now.”
The team RiotACT met at the bakery today spoke highly of Mr Hoitink, who had told them of the impending closure last Wednesday.
“He’s had negotiations with the landlord for the last three years, and can’t come to any agreement,” Mr Gorham said.
Business had been steady, though the bakery manager noted that there had been an impact from two new cafes in the Yarralumla shopping precinct as well as coffee shops at nearby Deakin shops and at the Equinox building in Deakin West.
The family-run business had operated on the site for 33 years.
“The father owned it before this and then the two brothers have had it, now Greg’s here on his own,” Mr Gorham said.
The popularity of the Turkish Pide House next door had been a positive for the bakery.
“It’s a good drawcard … both feed off one another,” the manager said, agreeing that it was a good position for a business “so long as they can afford the rent”.
“It just keeps going up, year after year after year,” he said.
Yarralumla Bakery staff will remain at work until February 18. The bakery is at 49 Novar St, Yarralumla and the phone number is (02) 6282 3371.
Pictured are Barbara Brooker, who has worked at the bakery for two decades, and manager Scott Gorham. The pair are among several staff looking for work as a result of the impending closure. Photo: Charlotte Harper