West End has bid goodbye to a 24-year mainstay of the area’s bakery-cafe scene. Best known for its organic, handcrafted and stoned-baked sourdough bread, Sol Bakery & Cafe said goodbye to its Vulture Street shop, another casualty of the effect the pandemic has had on small businesses and rents.
Prior to the shop’s last trading day on 11 July 2021, Sol Bakery & Cafe owner Andrea Poole had been working out with a potential buyer to save the West End store. However, the landlord rejected the offer of that investor.
Ms Poole said that her lease technically ends in July and she’s strapped for time to look for another investor. Thus, there was nothing else to do but to fold and start clearing the Vulture Street site.
- Sol Bakery & Cafe on Vulture Street, West End has closed for good on 11 July 2021.
- Owner Andrea Poole said that they couldn’t keep with the rising cost of the rent.
- She tried to find a buyer for the bakery but the said investor’s offer was rejected by the landlords.
Sol Bakery & Cafe, which first opened doors in 1997 under a different owner, had some reprieve during the first wave of the pandemic, thanks to the government’s rent freeze program. After the freeze ended, the landlords raised rents as this was stipulated in their contract.
The bakery tried to stay afloat despite the economic impact of the pandemic but the business couldn’t bounce back fast enough to cover the rising cost of the rent.
“Heartbreaking. My favourite brunch place 🥲 thank you guys for the great service and wholesome food. You will truely be missed!” one customer said when word of the bakery’s end was confirmed on West End social media groups.
“I flew down and drove 8 hours to get their bread. Maybe they will open up somewhere else as they have a good name and a great product…They just need a new home perhaps.”
Meanwhile, Sol Bakery in Darra, where the goods are actually baked, will continue to operate and supply shops and restaurants across Queensland.