Companion Baking closes its Maryland Heights cafe on Friday, July 1
As demand for its breads increases across the country in restaurants, grocery stores and other wholesale outlets, Companion Baking announced the closure of its cafe at 2331 Schuetz Road in Maryland Heights. The cafe’s last day of operation will be Friday, July 1, after which the space will be repurposed to expand Companion’s manufacturing capacity.
The announcement was made on the Companion Baking website and social media on Monday, June 27. “We love breaking bread with our community, so this was an extremely difficult decision to make. West St. Louis Cafe and its wonderful staff are close to our hearts, but we believe this is the best choice for our team to meet the needs of our customers both in St. Louis and throughout the country,” the statement said. “We are incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished over the past six years, and we are so grateful to everyone, especially Manager Miriam Ruiz, who has helped make our West Cafe such a special place. ”
Companion Baking co-owner Josh Allen said the decision was bittersweet. “We hate to see this location disappear because we really enjoyed inviting the public into our factory space and being transparent with our manufacturing process,” Allen said. “But, frankly, our business is growing rapidly on the manufacturing side and we’re running out of space for production in the building.” Closing the cafe will free up an additional 5,000 square feet of real estate that can be immediately converted into production space. Allen said it was ultimately a more attractive option than taking on the cost and time of expanding the facility with new construction.
Allen said Companion’s business has grown significantly, in part due to supply chain challenges that have forced competitors in the bread business to cut production and discontinue certain product lines. “We really ship bread from the Rocky Mountains to Appalachia,” Allen said. “This part of our business is growing and we currently have opportunities that we really need to take advantage of. It certainly can’t wait, we need to be able to get the product out, and we’re having spatial difficulties at the back of the building.
Business will continue as usual at Companion’s Ladue cafe at 9781 Clayton Road. “We have been very well supported by the community surrounding this [cafe], we’re very happy with how things are going at this location,” Allen said. Customers who had accumulated reward points at the Schuetz Road location will be able to redeem them and continue earning points at the Ladue Cafe. Companion Baking said all staff at the closed cafe will be offered the option to stay with the business.