Closed for Business: Simply Bread

Categories: Laudig

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​Is it jumping the gun to wish it were April Fool's Day, instead of Valentine's Day?

Not if you're a fan of Simply Bread's tasty artisanal baked goods. The five-year-old bakery -- which served 1,400 retail and restaurant customers -- reportedly shut down its operations yesterday.

The company struggles weren't caused by the recession, reports the Arizona Republic, but by issues with its Michigan-based lender.

"Our bank over five years has been experiencing unfortunate and significant challenges which, in turn, have become our challenges. We have looked diligently for solutions but the reality is that there is no choice but to cease operating and close our doors," said Simply Bread president Harold Back.

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37 comments
Solo Baker
Solo Baker

Who cares that this place closed. I've worked at some of the best artisan bakeries in the U.S. I took a job at Simply Bread when I moved to Phoenix last year. I worked for them for 2 months before I quit.

I took over 10 of thier accounts the month after I quit working out of a rented kitchen by myself.

Thier products are/were complete crap. If they were supplying your restaurant you obviously never tried thier bread and or have never had real artisan bread.

They ran the place like a slave labor camp. Most the employees made under 10 bucks an hour and they had them working 10 plus hours a day with no OT.... Because they were hired as part time employees. Shocking that most did not speak english. 

They automated the artisan side of the bakery. You can't take the art out of artisan and make a quality product. It's a short cut to FAILING. 

In my opinion Jeff was the only thing that was good about the bakery. He has talent hence the coup de monde award.

Again this place being gone is no loss.

 

luv2bake2
luv2bake2

WAKE UP EVERYONE. HAROLD DID NOT NEED A BANK. HE TOOK 8.5 MILLION DOLLARS FROM INVESTORS. HE NEVER USED THAT MONEY ON THE BAKERY! NO ONE IS LOOKING INTO THIS MINI MADOFF......WOW!

simply lied to
simply lied to

As a former employee I can tell you that it was NOT banking issues.

Germnachkolate
Germnachkolate

It was more than a lending problem. This company did not look out for its employees and the shutdown was a shock for all that are employed. There was no notice given, Harold is fighting too many lawsuits and had problems managing the company. So hey everyone is out of a job!!

gripnrip
gripnrip

The place I work at found out through the delivery driver on Sunday, with 500+ covers on the books for Sunday & Monday. I have , as management, closed 3 restaurants over the years.The first one, I followed the owners plan & kept it a secret, feeling like the cretin I was.The next two, against orders, I let staff and everyone well before the closing. I sleep soundly, now. No one stole anything or ripped off me or the place. Integrity and honesty feels good. Anyone doing business with any management of SB is very foolish. There is easy way , there is the right way.

VR TROOPER
VR TROOPER

Sad!!! They are the best bread makers around, bar none. : (

Shannon
Shannon

We can't assume we know what their story is. There are SO MANY factors to running a business. It is unfortunate that they seemed to be such a success, yet were not able to either keep it running, or find investors, or even sell it....but who knows, maybe they didn't want to. And, ps.....finding a bank willing to lend to a small food business is like finding a needle in a haystack. Despite the image banks like to portray, they are not set up to assist small business...unlesss you can prove you don't actaully need the money, hah!

Anthony R
Anthony R

You are right Barb, I freaked out. I never want to see Redendo's Pizzeria or SOFRITA in the CLOSED FOR BUSINESS blog. Me and Joel are now Facebook Pals :)

Anthony R
Anthony R

I have to read about this on CHOW BELLA, Do you think SIMPLY BREAD would have called their accounts and tell them the bad news ?

Frances
Frances

NO way!!! That truly is disappoining

Mike
Mike

So change lenders! If you're an AZ business maybe you should look to the AZ banks for a loan or your line of credit. With Willo Baking closing last year, it should have been a slam dunk for these guys to not only stay open but to thrive. I know things are tough with this economy but I'd like to hear the real story from Harold Black. We never got it for David Lacey's My Florist & Willo Baking closing and now this? Enough said...

Sylvester Mary
Sylvester Mary

Does anyone know where to find him? Or - more important - to find all the missing paychecks?

breadlover
breadlover

Are you crazy? Their bread was crap. Who were they kidding? It had to be a place to launder money. They couldn't bake a loaf or a baguette to save their life.

Tabby
Tabby

all their bread tastes like poop, actually

Joel LaTondress
Joel LaTondress

i'm sure in their list of customers, your small place in Fountain Hills isn't the first one they're calling. get a clue.

FManetti
FManetti

So simple from the other side, isn't it? Like if they had the money to pay their accounts they wouldn't still be open?

Leigh Grey
Leigh Grey

Mike, I'll guess that you've never tried to borrow money for a food-related enterprise (or to run any company). Not only is is not easy, it's very rarely possible, especially in Arizona. As a former restaurant owner who has endured the embarrassment of an overnight closure, I can tell you from personal experience that ample business is but one component of success. No failed owner is ever going to give you the "real story" because it's embarrassing and painfully sharp for years. It happens, it sucks, we all mourn the loss, and life goes on. NOW enough said...

Germnchokolate
Germnchokolate

Hey they called me like 30 mins before I was scheduled to go into work...

Anthony R
Anthony R

Sorry Joel you are right, I overeacted. But all three of my restaurants are effected, lucky I have a plan B.

Mike
Mike

Leigh, I have borrowed money and ran businesses but you're right, not in a food-related enterprise. I understand that ample business is just one component of success as well. Still, it sounds to me that management more than banking seems to be underlying cause for the closing. Possibly, we'll hear the back story as more people like Anthony R reply.

Anthony R
Anthony R

keeping my mouth shut instead

Barb
Barb

oh boys...both of you behave. this isn't the place for ego-bashing. this is a story about simply bread.

Marna Mycroft
Marna Mycroft

Banks, even if they have the $, are simply not lending to small companies right now. I think we'll see many more small companies go out in this manner before it gets any better. I LOVED Simply Bread :o(

Mike
Mike

Anthony - Can't say I blame you. That will be my last reply to this discussion.

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