UPDATED: It’s on their website: Walnut Creek Bakery, a multiple winner of Best Bakery in Diablo magazine’s annual Best of the East Bay contest, will be shutting its doors as of this Friday, after 10 years in business. In an interview last week with Diablo magazine’s Ethan Fletcher, owner Denise Vickers said she and her landlord, Patrick Ellwood, had been unable to agree to terms for a new lease. There was talk about the bakery staying open, with Vickers selling the business to Ellwood and stepping aside.
But then on the website is this note from Vickers and employees:
“It is with great sadness that Walnut Creek Baking Company will be closing our doors on August 31 2012. We will miss all of you; our customers, friends, and family that have supported us and helped us grow over the last 10 years. It’s been a pleasure.”
In Diablo magazine’s July issue, celebrating yet another win for her Locust Street bakery, Vickers admitted that she had taken a risk opening her business. “There’s an 80-percent failure rate for restaurants within the first two years.”
Over 10 years, the beloved bakery had established itself as the go-to destination for people with sweet tooths and wanting to buy yummy and snazzy-looking special occasion cakes and pies, Diablo credited Vickers’ “dedication to made-from-scratch baking with A-list products.” Vickers’ staff and customers prompted her to create an anniversary cookbook full of favorite Walnut Creek Baking Company recipes: chocolate chip cookies, chocolate crackle cookies, gingeroos, cupcakes and its special holiday pies and cakes.
When we threw a birthday party for my mother’s 80th, we bought a light, airy white cake with strawberry chiffon filling — one of the best cakes I have ever eaten.
The Baking Company’s reputation extended beyond Walnut Creek, and Vickers’ artistry helped put Walnut Creek on the culinary map.
One has to wonder what’s going on in town when some of our most beloved food institutions find themselves forced out of business, often because of issues with landlords. It wasn’t too long ago that Pinky’s Pizza and Sunrise Bakery Cafe had to close their doors of their South California Boulevard locations due to vexing landlord issues.