Home News St Pete vegan bakery closes shop

St Pete vegan bakery closes shop

by Celia

Valhalla Bakery, a prominent all-vegan bakery in St. Petersburg, is set to close its storefront on February 14th, citing unprecedented challenges faced by small businesses compounded by post-Covid supply chain disruptions, surging ingredient and packaging costs, and economic pressures on consumers.

Located at 2462 Central Ave. in the Grand Central district, the bakery first opened its doors in March 2020. Owner Celine Beltgens revealed that the decision to close comes as small businesses grapple with financial strains, emphasizing the misconception that small business owners are financially secure. Beltgens highlighted the struggle, stating, “I might make money, but then when stuff like this happens, I’ve lost everything in the last six months. I’m living less than paycheck to paycheck.”

Beltgens, who also operates Valkyrie Donuts at 2444 Central and owns Valhalla Bakery and a Valkyrie Donuts location in Orlando, expressed that sales have significantly declined across all four stores, bringing in only half of the projected earnings for the year. With rising costs, Beltgens anticipates the possible closure of the Orlando donut shop by the end of the year.

Acknowledging the emotional difficulty of such decisions, the Valhalla Bakery team conveyed the news and announced reduced operating hours through an Instagram post. The bakery will now be open four days a week, from Thursday to Sunday, until its closure. However, Valhalla Bakery plans to maintain a presence in St. Petersburg by consolidating operations and running both stores from the Valkyrie Donuts location. The menu will be streamlined to feature only the best-selling items.

Beltgens emphasized the necessity of adapting to ensure the survival of the business, stating, “I think that the reality is people are hoping that we’re gonna come out of this, but I’m not gonna hang my hat on hope. I’m going to protect my staff and I’m going to protect what little I have left.” She likened the situation to preparing for a storm, opting for a proactive approach to safeguard jobs and ensure the stability of the business.

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