Nova Scotia

Iconic Halifax bakery to shut down next month

Smith's Bakery has been on Agricola Street in Halifax since the 1950s. The owners are trying to sell the business because it can no longer operate out of its current location.

Smith's Bakery has been in operation on Agricola Street since the 1950s

Smith's Bakery is shutting down because the building has a new owner and the business won't be able to continue leasing space. (Brian MacKay/CBC)

Smith's Bakery, a longtime business on Agricola Street in Halifax, announced it will be closing down Aug 10.

The business has been in operation at its current location since the 1950s, and a sign out front says it was established in 1932. It's thought by many in the city to be Halifax's oldest independently-run bakery.

"It's unfortunate, but these things happen. It's business. The bakery has been here a long time and I think it's sad to see the customer's faces. That's the hardest part," Dennis Evans told CBC's Mainstreet on Tuesday.

Evans and his wife, Tara, have owned the bakery for the past five years.

He said the bakery is for sale, but that it can't continue to operate from its current location because the building sold and they can't continue leasing the space.

He said moving the business to a new location would be risky because its customer base is mostly located in the neighbourhood. He also said there aren't enough funds to move the business.

On Tuesday, Evans said they spent the day cancelling future orders for things like wedding cakes.

"It's not easy. Everybody has been really supportive and very nice. [Customers are] coming in, they're ordering, helping us run down some of the stock  and hopefully somebody does buy it and moves it into another location," Evans said.

The business is selling for $80,000 and that includes the name, the equipment and the recipes.

Evans said the birthday cake is Smith's most famous menu item. He said the recipe for it hasn't changed.

Dennis Evans and his wife Tara own Smith's Bakery on Agricola Street in Halifax. The business is for sale. (Diane Paquette/CBC)

"We're still using the original mixer Smith's purchased," Evans said.

He said the bakery will run as usual for the next two weeks, and then it will begin to wind down. 

The business will also be giving out a free memorabilia item to the 30th customer every day until it closes.

Customers lament bakery

Longtime customer George Anderson was at the bakery on Tuesday to buy bread.

He remembers when the Smith family ran the bakery.

"I'm here all the time and my brother comes all the time and a couple of other family members and it's sad. To lose something in this neighbourhood at this time, it's not good," Anderson said.

'Part of my daily routine'

Renee Perry, a customer who works close to the bakery, said she sometimes stops in couple of times a day.

"It's part of my daily routine, so I'm going to miss it a lot," Perry said.

She said the people who work at the bakery is what makes it special.

"That's the sad part too, the people who won't be working in the neighbourhood anymore," she said.

With files from CBC's Mainstreet and Diane Paquette

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