Hawthorne says the business has been stressful from the beginning. Photo: John Boivin

Castlegar bakery to close, owners blame Columbia roadwork for demise

Business down 30 per cent, then disaster struck

A Castlegar business couple says the road construction on Columbia Avenue was the straw that broke their business’ back.

“We’ve been dead since the construction started,” says Lorraine Buchanan of L and L Bakery. “We’re making a third of what we did last summer.”

This week Buchanan and her partner, Lorne Hawthorne, announced they were closing their shop on Saturday.

The couple took over the business, called Plaza Bakery at the time, in April 2016.

They say even before the road construction this summer, the business was stressful.

“Right off the bat, the freezer blew, and it’s $10,000 a pop each time,” says Hawthorne.

Then when the freezer blew again this week, enough was enough.

“This was the third time,” says Buchanan. “We didn’t want to go into any more debt.”

“Combine that with not enough customers — this summer we’re getting 30 to 40 people a day, instead of 80 to 120, and that’s a big hit,” she added.

Hawthorne, who’s a carpenter by trade, is going to go back to work in that field, while Buchanan takes a month off to de-stress and plan her future.

The couple thank their loyal customers for supporting them over the years, but say there just wasn’t enough of them to help in the end.

“It doesn’t matter what you do for advertising, you can’t get people to come in anymore,” says Hawthorne. “Most people are one-stop shoppers, and they forget about all the little places.

“It’s hurting lots of businesses in town.”

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