Sad news – Two Tarts Bakery announced today that they are closing their retail store on NW Kearney at 23rd. Good news – they will still be offering their delicious cookies at Portland Farmers Market. You may not be familiar with them, but have probably seen jars of the little treats at various coffeehouses around town. You may have read my review here.
Here is the press release –
I’ve been contemplating what to write for months. For weeks now, I thought I had it down – what to say, how to say it, the spit and polish I’d put on this letter. But honestly, now that I’m pinned to the keyboard, I’m suffering from more than just a loss of words. I’m truly verklempt.
On December 24th at 4pm, we’ll be closing up our little shop on NW Kearney. Not for our usual holiday break. This time we’ll be locking the door and handing off the keys to someone new.
We’ve loved the last six plus years – getting to know the neighborhood, feeling loved by our regulars, watching their children grow up (employing a few of them, even,) sharing tales happy and sad with all of you. We cannot thank you enough.
But the truth is, we’ve reached an economic impasse. My sister and I started Two Tarts with the idea of providing tiny, delicious treats made with quality ingredients at an affordable price. We’ve made good on that promise for eight years now. We’re still using the same stellar butter, flour, market-fresh produce, and organic eggs in which we believed. The only thing that’s changed for us is the cost of doing business. For the last nine months, we’ve kept our cookies priced at just below dollar each, or $9.75 per baker’s dozen. Truth be told, in order to make a reasonable income, they really should be priced at $1.25 each. But that’s not in keeping with our original mission. $1.25 for a small cookie doesn’t seem fair to me. The cost of dairy has nearly tripled in the last eight years. Health insurance (which we provide for our employees) has doubled. The City of Portland has imposed some strangely punitive fees on small businesses (paid sick leave, sewer upgrades, signage, etc.) And 23rd Avenue rents are now out of our league.
So we’re locking up the shop. Where does that leave us?
Back where we started. At Portland Farmers Market.
Beginning with the winter market on January 3rd, Two Tarts cookies will, once again, be available exclusively at Portland Farmers Market. We’ll work three markets in 2015 – Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Without the expensive overhead, we’ll be able to hold our prices steady and continue to bake amazing little cookies for you to enjoy. The only real change is that you’ll have to deal with some fresh air in order to purchase them.
We cannot wait to see you there.
With love and gratitude,
Chris Therrien says
This is indeed sad. What confuses me, however, is didn’t they recenty open Palace Cakes this year? I have not heard one mention of this in all of the local gossip media. Yes, rents are high and food cost is higher now, but aren’t these factors the same for the new spot? Am I off base here in this assumption?
My rent at Palace is about 1/4 of what it is on 23rd, and food and labor costs for cakes are lower than those for our tiny, very labor-intensive, (albeit cute) cookies. I also have a gross lease on the new place, so I don’t pay taxes, property insurance, FOG fees or CAMs. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that it takes a whole lot of $.95 cookies to pay rent. Thanks for asking, though.
amalie roberts says
Elizabeth Beekley is the coolest lady to ever rock the cookie. She will now move forward to rock the cake… and we will follow!
Boo Hoo says
A bakery in one of the fanciest Portland neighborhoods does not think it’s “fair” to charge $1.25 for a cookie, but paid sick leave seems punitive. Bye-bye.
Sad indeed- but understandable. I sometimes see the cookies at New Seasons or Foster and Dobbs. Wondering if they’ll still be available at these places and/or if they will sell some at Palace Cakes.
I’d like to thank Elizabeth ( who doesn’t know me) for 8 years of cute little cookies and delicious pumpkins pies. The quality has never wavered and the letter speaks from the heart regarding the decision to close. The Farmers Markets will be that much sweeter with your continued presence.
You and your sister are the ‘little engine that could’.
Best wishes for 2015.
Kathy Adams says
Have you thought of mail orders?