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Village Bakery Has Closed, Owners Announce Today

In a letter to friends and patrons dated Tuesday, owner Karen Child explains that the bakery on Gordon Avenue in Lawrence Township, in part, could not recover from losses incurred due to the power outage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

To the shock and dismay of many Lawrence Township residents, The Village Bakery has gone out of business, closing its doors as of this morning (Tuesday, Nov. 27).

In a letter dated today and posted on the door of the bakery – on Gordon Avenue in the heart of historic Lawrenceville – owner Karen Child explains that the decision to close the business was a difficult one that was the result of losses brought about by Hurricane Sandy and the difficulties she and her husband Bo had in finding qualified staff to help run the bakery.

As Patch reader Marcia Willsie recounted, after Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to The Village Bakery Karen and Bo Child opened their doors to friends and neighbors and gave out all their perishables – cakes, pies, quiches, breads, and cheeses – for free.  

“By candlelight they poured into the bakery, grabbed a plate and helped themselves to the most sumptuous meal anyone could have hoped for on such a night – chef Karen Child's best, all for free. Husband Bo Child brought in fellow musicians who played some spirited bluegrass into the night as people visited with each other,” Willsie said in her email to Patch.

The full text of the letter Karen Child posted on the bakery’s door can be found below:

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012

To All Our Friends and Patrons of The Village Bakery,

As of today, The Village Bakery is closed. It will not reopen under this management

After almost nine years of ownership, the decision to close was a difficult one. The loss we incurred from Sandy, plus the inability to hire qualified personnel to produce and sell our products over the past eight months drained all our resources. Without the necessary help and funds that we need to accomplish our jobs, it was determined that closing the bakery was our only option.

Our “Regulars” have made The Village Bakery their home-away-from-home, which is the finest compliment any owner could receive. Thank you all for your patronage and goodwill over the years.

Happy Holidays,

Karen P. Child, Owner/Pastry Chef

 

Please use the comments section below to tell us how you feel about the loss of The Village Bakery. Share your memories of the bakery and tell us what it meant to you and your family.

 

JV November 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM
This is just awful. Thank you so much for the wonderful memories.
Jane_Q_Customer November 28, 2012 at 12:39 AM
The Good: They are closing. Horayyyy! The Bad: - Outrageously expensive. One day they decided to double all of their prices. Yea, not kidding DOUBLED. Can't think of a better way to alienate customers! Do you really think your customers are going to high five the neighbors and tell everyone how great you are if you suddently jack up the prices 100%???? I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!!!!!! DUHHHH!!!!!!!!! $25 for a freaking pie? I mean just a plain simple pie... Not organic or anything, just a pie? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MINDS? It's no wonder they are closing. - Overcooked hard as a rock unpronounceable artisan bread selection. Yea it's fine if you want to break a tooth or throw it through a window, but if you can't pronounce it, you can't eat it! What ever happened to a simple fresh loaf of bread or kaiser rolls? - No donuts. WTF?? What on earth is a bakery without donuts? Duh!!! - Bad attitude. Owner was mean and the workers were zombie-androids. Your workers will not perform well if you treat them like rodents. The Ugly: Stupid looking hat. Unfortunate failed branding. This is the real reason why they failed. You wont win any customers with a hideous sideways hat.
Jane_Q_Customer November 28, 2012 at 12:45 AM
They only donated what they couldn't sell because their bakery products were too damn expensive!
Karunga November 28, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Jane, it sounds like you have a personal axe to grind. Who is happy that a local business closes? I assume you've never owned a restaurant. Food prices have gone up alot the past few years, and to make scratch pastries you have to use high quality product. Plus you pay a full days rent on a business that doesn't do lunch or dinner. It's a long day for a modest wage. I for one will miss their delicious meltaways!
Andrea Moore November 28, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I am so sad to hear about Karen and Bo closing up shop. The bakery was a wonderful asset to our community. I remember when they first opened and my sister-in-law ordered the desserts for my baby shower from the bakery - they were delicious! Two years ago I had the pleasure of working with Karen & Bo for Iron Chef Lawrenceville. They will be missed!
Ellen Saxon November 28, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Jane, as a totally loyal customer of the Village Bakery since I moved here seven years ago, I find your diatribe highly offensive and inappropriate. I wonder if you have any idea how many - probably hundreds - of customers like myself there were - who truly appreciated the extraordinary contributions Karen and Bo made to the community. As for her prices, Karen had to think long and hard about all the prices she set. They were never arbitrary and always carefully based on her costs to produce. (I believe your statement about the doubling of prices overnight to be a complete misstatement.) You want plastic, fast-food donuts from an impersonal franchise business? - there's Dunkin' Donuts right down the road - just waiting for you.
Ellen Saxon November 28, 2012 at 02:41 AM
For myself and all the wonderful friends I've made at the bakery since moving here seven years ago - may I express my dismay and sadness at the closing of the bakery. The fabulous cakes, cookies, breads and muffins were always utterly delicious; the Small World Coffee started our day on a super up note; Laura and all the other staff always extremely professional, friendly and warm - and of course the atmosphere and clientele were unbeatable. Karen and Bo, we honor you for enriching our daily lives, and for your incredible contributions to the community. And although we will miss you terribly, we also wish you much happiness and fulfillment in the next chapter of your lives. Thank you so, so much. Coffee
Leslie Siegel November 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM
I'm so saddened to see this delicious bakery in Lawrenceville closing. I loved Karens fabulous pastries and cakes, and the quality breads and rolls were truly delicious. When working for the LES After School program a few years back, Bo and Karen generously allowed me to do field trips with my Healthy Kids Cook classes to their bakery to show the students how bread was made. Karen showed them how to decorate a beautiful cake, and they provided samples for everyone. The students were thrilled! When I later began teaching at the Artists Network right next door, I could always find treats for my art students that I knew they would love. Karen provided our LMSAN Gallery with scrumptious pastries for our Second Saturday events, and they were always enjoyed by everyone .This generosity was an example of how they worked in our community, so from where I sit, this place and these people are truly going to be missed. Thank you so much for providing a wonderful place to meet up with friends and family for a bite of something delicious . Good luck to you both in all your future endeavors. Leslie Siegel
Howie Moses November 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
The Village Bakery was our traditional, birthday croissant breakfast in bed supplier. For fifteen years, every birthday started with croissants from Village Bakery delivered to my wife or daughters in bed. How sad that as our youngest spends her last year at home, the tradition must come to an end. You will be missed.
Niffer November 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I am very sad to see another small business close in the village. And while the bakery did produce some great goods, I do have to say that the attitude of the owner was abysmal at times. I tried to give them business and over the years ordered several cakes there. I found it intolerable that any time I placed a special order, the counter staff would go back and talk with the owner, and most of the time act as a go between. Once I wanted five icing roses put on a cake and I got eye rolling and "we've never done that before." There was no personal service from the owner. The few times I did see the owner she never smiled and never greeted me as a customer. Peggy Sues had the same problem - now Sue was much more personable, but she rubbed people the wrong way. Any small business in town needs to take a lesson from Tom and Cindy over at the Purple Cow. Those two know how to treat a customer. Lastly, if this bakery was so amazing, and all these people writing all these amazing comments frequented it once a week, it would not be closing.
Susan Hargraves November 28, 2012 at 01:51 PM
It is a shame that they have to close. I hate to see anyone lose a business that they have created. I have been in there only a couple of times, but each time I do have to say that I was not impressed by their products.
Max R November 28, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Losing local small business is always disastrous for a community. That being said, it's not surprising they are closing. I can honestly say that every time i was in there I was treated either indifferently or downright rude. When you ask them to cut a blueberry muffin in half for your 3 year old who is standing right next to you and you get the eye roll instead of a smile and "of course, sir" you know that they don't care about customer satisfaction. I would love to say that it was just the workers or it was just one time, but unfortunately Bo set the example every time. I've never seen an owner more rude to his customers. When he sets that example, the rest of the front counter workers will follow suit. In addition, when the President and Congress of the United States is as anti-business as this one is, why should Bo and Karen risk their hard earned money just to turn it over to the social justice program? Also, when property taxes are doubling every six years in this community, how is a small business supposed to survive?
George Murray November 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM
We loved the bakery and Bo and Karen were always very nice to us. They remembered our names and asked after us. Karen made a wonderful cheesecake stack for our wedding and our three year old asked after their cheese Danishes by name. They will be sorely missed!
Mr. Ray November 28, 2012 at 03:30 PM
While it's everyone's right to an opinion and a right to freedom of speech, your post regarding the closing of the bakery is the "ugliest" part. While I agree that the prices at the bakery were higher than most places, the quality couldn't be surpassed. Take a look at the bigger picture. This country was built on "Mom and Pop" stores. Have a little compassion for people trying to make an honest living. Also, I had a friend that was working at the bakery as a delivery person. He's now out of work. Your heartless Ms. Jane Q
Brooke Doerler November 28, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Loved everything about this place - especially sad since I had bought my mother in law a gift certificate for xmas for a $65 specialty cake. Ouch! I was trying to support my local business's.
Maria November 28, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Jane Q Customer is a primary example of why Americans have a bad reputation; loud, brassy, obnoxious and laced with profanity. I'm surprised she even went into a place like the village bakery given the plethora of neon-lighted fast food chains in the strip malls on rt 1 which seem to better correlate with her outlook on food. That being said, the closing of the bakery is a blow to the rest of us. I enjoyed many great coffees and breakfasts there, and found the staff to be friendly and pleasant. For those who Commented on the price hikes, i thought it was very considerate of karen not only to warn customers prior to enacting the change, but also explain why iy had to happen; i mean really, what other business has done that inthese toigh times? in any event, it is heartbreaking to see a small business go under. I wish Karen the best and hopes she continues to purvey her talents. .
no one special November 28, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I agree.. all the employees were worked so hard.. and still were humiliated infront of costumers.. nothing EVER pleased the owner.. they all bent over backwards for her and she still found ways to stress them out.. no respect and no appreciation from her at all...
Ed Louis November 28, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I just started to go to the bakery a year ago. I would go and get a blueberry muffin and a large coffee and sit down for conversation with really nice people including Karen and Bo. I met father Tom, Sam who works for ESPN and Mary Kate for a really friendly time. Bo was a great guy to banter with. On the weekends my wife and I would do the same thing.During the early spring the flowering trees across the street brightened the events. I thought to my self that I wanted to see this next sprng. Now that prospect is gone. I am going to miss the Childs and other people who I met there not to mention the taste of great bakery products and coffee.
no one special November 28, 2012 at 08:00 PM
How about everyone read from an insiders view... it is very sad that the bakery is closed esp. around the holiday.. most of the employees their have families to support.. and without any warning of closing u can imagine the shock and disbelief we all were handed.. it was an ugly and very unfair way to close.. In some degree Janes comment on the employees being zombies is completely true.. The bakery was very short staffed due to the fact no one felt comfortable enough to deal with the stress of working with an owner who hated her job and acted so very unappreciative towards everything and everyone.. all i can say is STRESS!! there could have been many qualified workers there but they were all intimated by the owner.. The amazing products will be missed.. for there isnt a bakery like this in our area.. but when one door closes another one opens.. hopefully another bakery will open in its place..
Jeffrey A. Vamos November 28, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Truly a sad day. What Karen and Bo created has been a true gift to this community. The life of the bakery was also so tied into the life of our church. An example: the communion bread for our 5:00 service came from VB. Their presence across the street from us will be well missed.
Lville Rob November 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM
I was an infrequent customer, but I always found the staff pleasant and the baked goods excellent. The bakery was a real asset to Main Street and its loss will be keenly felt. It is disappointing, though, that some have used this comment section to denigrate the proprietors. I can remember my mother telling me, "If you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all." In these difficult times, it doesn't cost anything to be kind, but the value of kindness is priceless.
LvilleGrl November 29, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Interesting that some customers can't say enough about how wonderful the owners were, while others note that they were rude. I would stop in about once a month (as recently as last week) for a much-loved melt-away, and although I don't recall witnessing them as being rude, I did notice that they just didn't seem pleasant. Regardless, it is a loss for L'ville. Can't understand how or why the Purple Cow opened not all that long after Peggy Sue's closed, but maybe there's hope that another proprietor will re-open the Village Bakery.
Christy Garrison November 29, 2012 at 07:09 PM
It is always sad to see a local business close. Main Street needs more businesses, maybe even some brands to bring in more business and certainly a better set up for parking. It has potential, like all Main Streets do, but it doesn't seem like the town is putting more into building that are up like they should. Small businesses like the bakery need more than just locals to survive.
Stephen Denman November 29, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Steve and Fran ,we both loved the Village bakery. to say that Bo or Karen was rude is downright incorrect. Baked goods were delicious and priced right. They both deserved better and not the abuse of people like Jane. (must be some person to live with) good luck Karen and Bo ,your friends Fran and Steve Denman
Monica Weinschenk November 30, 2012 at 04:54 AM
All I can say or shall I say we have been to many bakery's and I mean many in the course of our lifetimes... this Bakery was in a class of its own. Those of you who are bitching about the small stuff really need to get a life. You really don't know what it costs to run a small business and to produce those wonderful pastries . Karen you made the Village Bakery a place I looked forward to everyday and Mr. wonderful looked forward to every weekend . I raved to my family about you and your products and bought many for them to enjoy, also had them come there in person to enjoy the beautiful homey atmosphere that Karen had going there! they all loved it as well as the pastries . Also We would like to add that we met MANY wonderful people there that we now call friends. We will miss you both Karen and Bo Love and best wishes, Mr and Mrs Wonderful
mare November 30, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Mare-your faithful saturday girl your place was the best small & cozy and known by name that was part of the trademark and great treats you will be missed
Your Customer December 03, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I was a daily customer and quite suprised to see that the bakery had closed. I brought two of your Apple Meltaways to seperate Thanksgiving celebrations, and they were both a hit at each. Rave reviews from all guests. It will be difficult to find another bakery of your caliber. Best wishes!
John McGlynn December 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM
As the former owner of Village Bakery from 1990 to 2004, I am sad to hear this news. I know the owners put a lot of money into renovations and upgrades. I have been a Baker since I was a kid (started in 1969) I know how hard it is to run this type of business. The people making these nasty remarks would break in a week if they tried to run a bakery. You primadonnas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John McGlynn December 04, 2012 at 12:38 AM
I feel that the people should have spent more time eating meltaways !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bob Morgan February 16, 2014 at 04:10 PM
Karen and Bo have resurfaced at the Brick Farm Market in Hopewell - HOORAY!!! Had two meltaways and picked up a loaf of their extraordinary cinnamon bread!

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