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WC Baking Company Closing on Friday

Update: Celebrated Locust Street baker has been sweet for a decade; there's a disagreement with the landlord.

Update, 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, interview with Denise Vickers and Patrick Ellwood.

It was a case of insult added to the injury of a popular bakery closing.

owner Denise Vickers was sitting at an outside table on the Locust Street sidewalk Tuesday morning. Vickers was talking about the stress of her ownership ending and negotiations for a bakery to continue on the site, when a meter reader vehicle pulled up and a city staffer began to write a ticket for the baking company van at the curb.

Insult to injury. "Aaagh," cried Vickers. She intervened. The van was moved. No ticket ensued.

There is a customer appreciation event at 8 a.m. Friday at the baking company on Locust Street, kitty corner from the Lesher Center for the Arts. The doors will close at noon followed by an event for baking company staff, Vickers said. Then the company will be closed.

"It is with great sadness that Walnut Creek Baking Company will be closing our doors on August 31 2012," WCBC states on its website. "We will miss all of you; our customers, friends, and family that have supported us and helped us grow over the last 10 years."

The landlord's lease price has been going up, said owner Denise Vickers. The lease was month-to-month since March. There was an attempt to "transition" the business to one of the key staff members, Vickers said, but that has fallen through.

There are negotiations now for Denise Ellwood, wife of landlord Patrick Ellwood of Ellwood Commercial Real Estate in Piedmont, to take over the bakery business. Patrick Ellwood on Tuesday confirmed those negotiations.

The lease price going up was "not the problem at all," he said. "There are other factors, but I don't think it's my place to put that forth (publicly)."

Vickers, a Concord resident, said she doesn't know what her own plans are. "I wish I knew," Vickers said Tuesday. "I have an appointment at 11:15 on Thursday. That's as far ahead as I'm planning."

The baking company celebrated its 10th anniversary in April with the publication of a recipe book by Vickers and chef Tim Rosalez.

Walnut Creek blogger Martha Ross (Crazy in Suburbia) tells about throwing a birthday party for her mother: "we bought a light, airy white cake with strawberry chiffon filling — one of the best cakes I have ever eaten … (owner Denise) Vickers' artistry helped put Walnut Creek on the culinary map."

WCBC won a string of awards in the Diablo Magazine Best of the East Bay contest.

Elizabeth September 08, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Karma is going to bite these people in the butt big time, when the Elegant Gateau:http://legateauelegant.com/ opens up in October in the former Delice's spot. If you go to her web page, she has the most gorgeous cakes.
Eddie September 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Ok quit with the shameless plugs, we get it you are from lovlylittlecakes and are excited to see a staple like wcbc go away
Eddie September 08, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Hmmm does this sound like someone with insider information who might just have a hidden agenda? Or is that me just being paranoid thinking this is the landlord posting?
Eddie September 08, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I have to say I did stop in to the new bakery. What do we call it? The windows say walnut creek baking company, the top had the walnut creek part scraped off leaving just the words "baking company" and the lady at the counter couldn't tell me what the new name was going to be. I hope the new owner wasn't the older lady behind the counter texting and scowling at people who looked in and just kept walking. Atmosphere has definitely changed. Good news looks like some of the bakers stuck around so foods still as good. I will probably keep going in to support their efforts, but if they leave or are made to make crap and call it food I just go down the block to peets or even stoop so low as to go to Katys Kreek for coffee. Though if Denise or any of her talented crew get another shop going someone, ANYONE send me and Invite!
Eddie September 08, 2012 at 10:17 PM
OH plus they don't take credit cards now. What is new owner/landlord thinking?

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