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Published 3 years ago
Last updated 3 years ago
Two years after it opened in downtown Flossmoor, Bakewell Bakery has closed in somewhat mysterious fashion.
The bakery, which cooked up sweet and savory English treats, was open as recently as Saturday, June 23. It was closed as normal on Sunday. At 5:15 a.m. June 25, Bakewell posted on its Facebook page this short announcement:
“It’s with great sadness we announce the closure of the shop. We will never forget your kindness and support.
Along with 47 shares and loads of frowny faces, the post gathered nearly 150 comments, with patrons writing they’re “devastated” and wishing owners Pat and Alan Ledsham well.
At the bakery on Tuesday, though, a note dashed off on parchment paper and taped to the window told passersby the bakery was closed “until further notice” due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
Fresh carnations still sat in vases on each table, but the chalkboard featuring the establishment’s hours had been smeared away.
After starting with a stall at the Homewood Farmers Market in 2013, Bakewell Bakery opened its quaint storefront on Sterling Avenue in May 2016. It had already gathered fans of its cookies, tarts and sausage rolls, and expanded its menu to include coffee drinks and traditional hearty English pasties.
Bakewell’s closure leaves three storefronts along Sterling Avenue in limbo, as The Villager moved to Homewood and Angelo’s Fresh Market closed last year.
The downtown business strip still sees decent foot traffic, but Andrea Cygan worries it will decrease even more without Bakewell. Cygan is a server at The Bistro on Sterling, just a few doors down from the bakery.
“It’s not good for the community that places keep closing,” Cygan said. “We need these businesses to keep people coming to downtown Flossmoor.”
Bistro hostess Cathy Kelley said she had just picked up an order of cinnamon doughnuts and blueberry muffins from Bakewell for her family on Saturday. When they heard about the bakery closing, she said she was sad for the Ledshams, who are her nearby neighbors in Flossmoor.
“I don’t know if it had something to do with increasing rent,” Kelley said. “Many (small businesses) around here are struggling.”
Bakewell always seemed to be busy, they said, and they were surprised to hear of it closing. It had “a following,” Kelley said, and Cygan added that frequently items were sold out if she visited at the end of the day.
Jamie Prisco at Coldwell Banker in Flossmoor said she stopped into Bakewell frequently for an iced coffee and the occasional muffin treat. She said she and her co-workers would miss the bakery, and just knowing something like it was conveniently nearby.
“We were all pretty disappointed when we heard,” Prisco said. “Obviously it’s nice to have something like that in the downtown area.”