Thursday, November 04, 2010

Angelo bakes no more


Meltdown
London, ON, February 2009

The Angelo's market near our house abruptly closed its doors yesterday (news story). Rumors of trouble within the 4-store operation had been building for weeks. Two stores had already closed, but this latest closure leaves only the original location open.

This is the place my kids loved. This is where my cycling group used to stop for fruit juice and a chat on our Sunday morning rides. This was the local business that reminded us so much of the bakeries and markets we grew up with. In a whitebread city like London, where richly character-driven places like this simply don't exist, the loss of a business that stood out is an especially tough shot to the gut.

Some of you may recall that I wrote about this place last year (link here). I was out with the little folks, and we ended up having one of those encounters that they'll never forget. Caroline was the daughter of the founder, and I hope she's doing OK in the wake of this business mess. A lot of good folks no longer have a great place to work; I can't help but feel that our city has lost something significant.

Your turn: The difference between locally-owned businesses and chains. Please discuss.

About this photo: We're winding down our yellow-themed week. New Thematic launches tonight at 7:00 p.m. What'll the theme be? How's about electric?

8 comments:

Twain12 said...

i try to by locally too but where i live it is not that easy. I live on the outskirts of a military town and the only stores we have are chain stores (Sobey's, Superstore etc.)I do try to by Canadian or locally grown produce as much as i can and of course there is the farmers market on Saturdays. Sorry this place has to close, it looks wonderful.

Lynne H. said...

I try to always suport the small, local business'es. In part because they are like me, someone trying to earn an honest living. Also, they had that personal touch that is missing with big-chains. I live on the outskirts of a large city, so we have many fresh veggie/fruit stands, craft shops, galleries. These are the ones I will gravitate to first and only venture into the large chains when no other options are available.

It saddens me when I hear of places such as this closing their doors. We all lose out on so much...

Kalei's Best Friend said...

There was a place in Santa Barbara that my ex bf and I use to go to..By accident, he chose the place and we had gone to it everytime he came into town.. It was a Greek/Italian market! omg... the greatest gyros for cheap.. huge 10" gyros, fresh and tender meat, as well as the veggies in it.. Even the pepperoni pizza... Local is good, its the camaraderie... The people were so genuine and the care put into the food!. Best of all they were reasonable.. Unfortunately, the rent went up, the building was old as the hills but u could feel the love there.

Lorraine said...

Everything that mattered to me has left my town...all the gas stations have stopped giving gas, and are closing, except for one in the next city...wth is going on...

SY said...

Locally owned businesses seemed to be a little more customer service oriented because their prices are usually higher it gives them an edge.

I love local business that feel like you are talking to someone that is looking at you as a person not like a dollar sign

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

I'm lucky to live in Portland. We have a lot of locally owned businesses... I drink coffee at Peet's, which started in the Bay Area but lives here now, shop at New Seasons which is owned by disgruntled former Nature's (now Whole Foods) employees, etc. And of course there's Powell's. I'm sorry your bakery went under.

LZ Blogger said...

Carmi ~ Sometimes businesses like that are sort of part of the family and not just a place you frequent. ~ jb///

Levonne said...

Whatever is in that picture Carmi, it looks delicious! Sorry to hear about Angelo's. I can understand your sense of loss. During these difficult economic times, we are losing so many small local businesses. But I do believe that this is a creative period too. People are changing how they do life and I believe some good things are going to come out of that, including some original wonderful small, local businesses. Good post!