I'm so sad, our local family owned bakery is closing mid month. Same family opened it 6 decades ago. Wonderful products, the son an award-winning baker in his industry.
Our kids grew up enjoying a bakery stop which began with donut holes and as teens Long-Johns were their favorites. I haven't had to look up their phone number in over 35 years I called so frequently. Many times I called during the night, awakened because I forgot to order something I needed in the morning; they'd have it ready & waiting for me.
I ordered the BEST Hot Cross Buns for Easter, Paczki preceding Ash Wednesday, crossiants & pan au chocolat, maple frosted fried cinnamon rolls were my #1 choice. Sandwich buns for every party or catered meal when needed, Loveknot or Parker House dinner rolls, etc.
Next GOOD bakery will be 72 miles north of home. There is a bakery 20 miles away, product is so-so.
Last month it was the final family owned lumber yard in town, a few months back the neighborhood family dining restaurant that had been here 50+ years, TV & stereo store friends owned, our neighborhood pharmacy (which is so handy when you are ill) and so on.
It's hard to see my contemporaries go through this difficult process after they've poured their hearts and lifetime of work into great businesses.
Thank you big box stores, chain groceries that try to be everything to the public, and allowing home improvement stores on 3 out of 4 corners of an intersection next to the mall!
Strip malls, chain restaurants and all those crappy stores I hope I never have to set foot in!
So what great hometown businesses have you lost that you dearly miss?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
I hear you, Lurah, and feel the same way!
As for businesses lost? Too many to count but I'll try to think some on it and post back later but, off the top of my head, it seems that it has been mostly "service-orientated" businesses. You know, the ones that "fix" things like tv repair, shoe repair and vaccuums or have expertise such as tailor shops for alterations and such?
Seems like no one "fixes" anything anymore. Have a problem (even a simple one that COULD be fixed?), why bother, just toss it out and buy new....
Unfortunately, many small businesses can't survive a climate of people who have become used to that mind-set so now all we are left with, as you say, are big box stores and mega-giants where even good employees who sincerely want to do a good job can't do so due to corporate policies and computers that aren't programed for anything else but the most common requests - no individual choices permitted.
Timely topic; thanks for posting.
I'm sort of surprised that your local bakery closed. I live in a small city and our local bakeries are going strong. We so prefer our local stuff that Krispy Kreme couldn't make a go of it here.
Thank goodness we never had Krispy Kreme, but we are large enough to have dupes of the big box stores with grocery marts that have bakeries, St. Louis Bread Co., and plethora of coffee chains and factory made muffins. Convenience stores that make their own glazers & the like just punched the life out of a little mom & pop shop. The mentality of our community is so blue collar, it's almost navy!
Don't get me wrong--we have all the supermarket and service station baked goods, too. But apparently enough of us patronize the local bakeries to keep them in business as well. At least two of them have been around since before I was born and I'm 64. One of my favorite memories of childhood was going to Keller's Bakery after 6:45 mass and loading up on French bread, lemon pies, chocolate cupcakes with a pecan on top, and brownies.
Our bakery story is different. The closest (literally a stone's throw) had major storm damage 6 or 7 years ago. they tried to sell the building with no success and after its being closed for 2 or 3 years. It was remodeled, reopened and going strong as ever! Their goods I would not describe as being super special.
But then we have another bakery not too far that has really quality things. Next door to that is a building that recently re-opened as a sort of specialty general food store (what it had been in the past) they struggled for a year or two and could not make it.
We also had a business that sold take out prepared foods, sort of comfort food, like twice baked potatoes, chicken salad, meat loaf etc.
They were very successful but the wife did all the cooking and they just burned out.
The thing is with small family owned businesses is that people age and tire or die and maybe they don't have other family members who can or want to, step in.
I see this happening now with my frame shop owning friend. She is now 80, business has been uneven in recent years a/c economy. A young person (i.e. any of her kids) would have to think about affording insurance which she does not, also she must realize something from a sale or rental of the business, making it more difficult for it to be passed on.
It is not always the influx of mega chains that cause the demise of locally owned small businesses. It is the changes in technology, goods needed or wanted, services performed (who gets a t.v. repaired these days?)
It is also the value placed on certain services or commodities. who could have imagined a store selling co ndoms? Yet we have an apparently successful such store on a main street in Portland. Also do you notice the great number of beauty parlors? What about tattoo shops?
ALL of our locally owned businesses (except restaurants/diners) have closed except for the jewelry store...original owner's daughter runs it now.
This has nothing to do with big box stores, WalMart, Target...nothing like that in our town. Back in the early 1980s Wal-Mart had a location picked out and was working with our city officials. Through the Chamber of Commerce, local business owners wrote a letter and signed it telling WM that they were not wanted. So WM built a super store 20 miles away. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the mom-pop stores in our town closed within ten years...all except the jewelry store.
I see it as a failure to pay attention to the needs of the people who live here.
We had two hardware stores, three exclusive dress shops, one department store, two grocery stores, one furniture store, several small neighborhood grocery markets. All closed. We now have one Brookshires grocery store, two dollar-type stores. We do have two hardware stores, but they are now outside city limits...both are still family owned although the original two closed.
We still try to purchase as much as possible locally. DH always checks with the hardware stores first before going to Lowes. I purchase 99% of my groceries and toiletries in town. I put gasoline in my Tahoe in town before leaving on a trip...and fill it up when returning here. We do our best to support our town and county.
Does this hat make my butt look big?
All of our small hardware stores are closed as a direct result of the big box stores. Several good bakeries and delis closed. All of the local small book stores are gone. It's a shame that we have lost so many businesses that provided good service and value. I really miss all of these stores which I used to patronize. It is so hard to find salespeople at the big box stores who actually know the products that they are selling.
We still have a local hardware store that I patronize before resorting to the big box stores. It seems to be going strong. I love puttering around in that place. It reminds me of my grandfather's hardware store in downtown New Orleans. We also have a local place that sells specialty hardware items like drawer pulls. I was able to find authentic 50's pulls for the panels on bookcase headboard that had been my parents. When I had it refinished, there was some doubt that I could find pulls with the same unusual distance between the screws. We rummaged around in the bins until we found two that fit like a glove!
Here too, too many to family businesses to name have closed, but my one that I cried over was the Japanese restaurant. It had been the first Japanese restaurant in town, opened 1957 and we went there on my birthday and our anniversary. DH prefers the Chinese restaurant opened about the same time in the same complex. Haven't found a decent Japanese in the newly opened restaurants, so sad, so sad.
Save Planet Earth, it is the only Planet with chocolate!!
If the local restaurants started closing in my hometown, we'd be sunk. We are known nationwide for our Cajun cuisine!!!!!
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