15 August, 2009

Desserts by David Glass Closing After 28 Years

After nearly 30 years of providing amazingly delicious desserts at both the wholesale and retail level, Desserts by David Glass is closing its doors, a victim of the economic downturn and the loss of its biggest wholesale customer.

Owner David Glass started creating his high-end cakes in a house on Sargent Street in Hartford before moving operations to the old Colt factory under the blue onion dome and, most recently, to a building on Blue Hills Avenue in Bloomfield.

For the past few years, the bakery has hosted tastings and direct retail sales to the public at the Bloomfield bakery. My family and I would stop in on occasional Saturday mornings to sample slices of heaven and buy a cake or two to bring home. We even had a tour of the bakery and operations area one Saturday morning. Now and again Mr. Glass would stroll through the retail area to chat with customers; the atmosphere was always friendly and relaxed and seemed more like a party than a sales event.

And although his desserts were treasured by local people, he had a wide following; his cakes were sold by Zabar's in NYC, by Whole Foods, and at Stew Leonard's, as well as in restaurants all over the Northeast.

They were also sold at Trader Joe's - nearly half of their business was done with the Trader Joe's account - and unfortunately that proved to be David Glass' undoing. Trader Joe's decided that they were paying too much for the desserts and tried to negotiate a wholesale price that was less than it cost Desserts by David Glass to produce the goods. Glass couldn't afford that kind of "deal" but Trader Joe's wouldn't budge. The relationship ended and it was the beginning of the end.

In an article about the closing published in the Hartford Courant, Glass said that he hopes to reopen as a smaller local bakery because he believes his desserts still have a local following.

He's right. They do. And I hope he lands on his feet.

Photo of David Glass from www.davidglass.com


Nethead said...

RIP David Glass Cheesecakes. Mine are still better (brag brag) but the Tres Leches cakes were just plain diet-busting EVIL. He's hoping to open something smaller eventually; I hope so too.

zoe p. said...

Sad news, but fascinating. Thanks for the report. Another reason to avoid Trader Joes. Bah!