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New Ownership for Walnut Creek Baking Company

Locust Street shop has reopened with same staff and 'same recipes,' says new owner Denise Ellwood.

has reopened under new ownership.

The new/ revived Locust Street bakery opened on Friday. It was closed for a regular day off Monday and was poised to reopen regularly at 7 a.m. Tuesday, said new owner Denise Ellwood.

The sale closed on Sept. 1, Ellwood said. The new bakery, which will eventually have a new name, has "the same bakers, the same staff, the same recipes," Ellwood said.

"We wanted to keep the operation same as it was," Ellwood said. "It's important to the community."

after a decade and a few months in business.

Elizabeth September 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I'm sorry, but this is just odd. Why didn't Denise Vicars say she was wanting out and handing it over to the landlords wife? It sounded like she could not afford the lease so walked away. Still a very odd situation, and I don't plan on going there myself.
M N September 11, 2012 at 02:20 AM
This dose sound odd Sounds like she just walked away no one would just let anyone take over her staff and use her same recipes.
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) September 11, 2012 at 05:56 AM
While I always thought their treats were delicious, it didn't overcome the rudeness of the staff. The yumminess of an establishment's food can only overcome so much. I much prefer to simply buy their treats from other outlets such as Diablo Foods.
djkeeley September 11, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Can you please give us a bit more information. Did previous owner sell her business to Denise Ellwood?
Devon September 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM
IS Denis Ellwood more of a financial backer/silent investor? Isn't the Baking Company really/figuratively "owned" by the previous owner/creator of the recipes? IF her livelihood is dependent on this shop I would not boycott, and maybe the landlords helping her out and being the buffer to her husband with the "rising rent costs". We don't know the whole story, and I know this must be hard for the original WC Bakery owner
Walnut Creek Downtown September 11, 2012 at 05:54 PM
It seems like the landlord purposely raised the rent to drive out the current owner so his wife could take over the company... there is definitely something wrong with this picture and I do not intend to support the business.
Walnut Creek Downtown September 11, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Yes.. I would also like to know if the landlords purchased the business from the previous owner.
Devon September 11, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I stand corrected on my comment in the "benefit of the doubt" mode. The original owner is not involved in the reopening. Good luck to the new owner....it will take a long time to develop your own loyal patrons
CRE Agent September 11, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Did it ever occur to anyone that the former owner, Denise Vicars, lied to her customers and The Patch about what was really going on? She was trying to sell her business and there were no takers. The brokerage community knew she wanted to retire and spend time with her parents. The brokerage community knew she took two month's off a year and was burned out. Maybe the landlord had lowered her rent to keep her in business for a year longer than he should have? Maybe the landlord forgave back rent that was never paid? Maybe the landlord turned down other business uses and instead BOUGHT the business from Denise Vicars because he saw value in her business? Maybe we should give the new owner, Denise Ellwood, a chance? She obviously gave all of the employees a chance to keep their jobs instead of forcing Denise Vicars to fire everyone and go completely dark. Anyone willing to take on a small business and employ local folks in the community should be commended and supported. If you liked what the bakery did before, why not give it a chance with someone new and fresh behind the helm. Obviously the new owner wants to celebrate what Denise Vicars had created, otherwise she wouldn't have bought the business from her. Hurray for locally owned business. It could have become a SUBWAY or other corporate food use.
Ian Lipnicky (still a SportsFan) September 12, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Because Subway franchises aren't owned by locals? Get real.
michael frederick September 13, 2012 at 08:50 AM
CRE Agent, Thanks for shedding some light. I don't have a pony in this race -- never been in the joint for a yummy anything or met any of the parties. It just seems tragic to see people demonized based on unsubstantiated, probably false, speculation. As a CRE Owner -- this doesn't look like a hostile takeover. I'm sure if people thought this out, it would become readily apparent that Mr. Ellwood charging Mrs. Ellwood less rent IS NOT a windfall for the Ellwood family finances -- it is just an additional investment in maintaining a local business with local workers. I think it is simply a case of the Ellwoods appreciating Vicars' vision and recognizing that they can better supply whatever the missing ingredient(s) is/are -- energy, business acumen, capitalization, whatever. Ian, franchises are a different animal. Corporate dictates signage, decor, menu ... Workers are generally close to minimum wage, with minimal skills -- they can't afford to live in WC and commute. The owners' ability to tailor the offering to suit local tastes is seriously restricted, in an effort to achieve the generic conformity valued above all else -- that WC doesn't. In short, franchises are a seriously restricted form of ownership and are much different than what is being maintained here.
Really? September 14, 2012 at 09:35 PM
CRE agent Not a chance
Friend from Bay Area September 15, 2012 at 01:34 AM
As someone who have worked in corporate business for 20 years including corporate acquisitions - I would read this with a grain of salt. My guess is that there is another story and readers may never learn the truth. My hunch is that Denise Vickers is "not" the villian here. I smell a SKUNK.
srl99 September 16, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Way to cook up paranoia WCBC!
Eddie October 14, 2012 at 02:35 AM
CRE agent? as in Commercial Real Estate Agent? So Is this the new owner? Are you saying Denise Vicars Is a Liar? Are you saying the You Were Just being Helpful? Then Why did I see so many crying bakers that last day? Im calling shinanagans
Eddie October 14, 2012 at 02:39 AM
OH and I stopped by the new place. It stinks. I have one of the business cards. Its called BAKE. Now thats original. Kinda like Cake that just opened up in lafayette. How long before its called Baked and is the local stoner joint?
srl99 April 04, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Bake is cooked. [Closed.]

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