Home News Challenges in Baking Business Lead to Closure of Valhalla Bakery Storefront

Challenges in Baking Business Lead to Closure of Valhalla Bakery Storefront

by Celia

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Celine Beltgens, the owner of Valhalla Bakery in St. Petersburg, has announced the closure of the storefront due to challenges posed by inflation and supply chain issues. Despite dedicating herself to her work, Beltgens expressed that rising costs have forced this difficult decision.

In 2014, Beltgens, a native of Canada, initiated Valhalla in Orlando, complemented by a smaller donut shop called Valkyrie two years later. The success prompted her to expand to St. Petersburg in 2017, captivated by the city’s creative ambiance.

However, the pandemic in 2020 severely impacted business, disrupting the St. Pete economy. The subsequent years brought a surge in prices for essential items such as gloves, packaging, and ingredients, with inflation causing some prices to spike between 50% to 300%, according to Beltgens.

The Small Business Index noted that over 50% of small businesses in the U.S. cited inflation as their top challenge in 2022. For Celine Beltgens, 2023 proved to be another challenging year financially, with rising costs and unexpected setbacks.

“This has been one of the hardest financial years I’ve ever had,” she shared.

Having invested half a million dollars into Valhalla, Beltgens faced difficult decisions, such as redirecting her mortgage payment to cover payroll. Consequently, she decided to close both the St. Pete Valhalla and the Valkyrie Donuts in Orlando.

“We’re doing what we have to do to survive to get to the next step and hope that it comes back,” Beltgens explained.

While not confident in a swift recovery, Beltgens expressed unwavering confidence in herself and her businesses. Valhalla will remain open until the week of Valentine’s Day, with plans to consolidate operations into the St. Pete donut shop, transforming it into Valhalla Bakery featuring Valkyrie, expected to take place in early March.

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