Gingerbitz, an eat-in bakery launched on Elm Street more than four years ago by a New Canaan couple, is to close Friday.
Karen Zuckert said she and her husband, Andrew, have forged many new friendships through the business and “are very sorry to leave.”
“We really wanted to create something very special for the town,” she saId. “We live in town, we care about it. It’s disappointing. There is just not enough business in town to keep going and to the standard that we would like to keep it.”
Named after a sobriquet that had been bestowed on Karen by her late father-in-law, Donald Zuckert, the cozy shop offered her signature baked goods—including custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies—as well as an eclectic menu of sandwiches, salads, coffees and more. (Those seeking to place orders with Gingerbitz after Friday may still do so—see contact info below.)
Andrew said that he and his wife have “really loved being in town and appreciate all the business we have had and the support we have received over the past five years.”
Of Gingerbitz’s regulars, he said: “We are going to miss those people, for sure.”
Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is “always sorry to see a local independent business close.”
“We wish them well, as they have such an incredible product but also realize that decisions are made to open or stay open based on many factors,” Murphy said. “Retail is tough—no ifs, ands or buts about it.”
She added that the Chamber has fielded “several inquiries lately about new businesses, and that is encouraging.”
“I’m always willing to meet with anyone and offer what I can to anyone considering opening a business,” she said.
The Zuckerts continue to operate a small shop out of a commercial space on Hope Street in Stamford and they’re actively looking to find a new space for Gingerbitz in Westport, Andrew said.
“We are looking for a town that has got a little more traffic,” he said.
Karen said she is hoping to take Gingerbitz’s employees with her to the future location.
“I know that a lot of my customers are very fond of the people who worked for us,” she said.
Karen added: “Everyone cares about how everyone ends up. The cost of doing business is just very high in our town.”
The Zuckerts said they have the ability to continue operating Gingerbitz through August in the space at 155 Elm St. but decided against it given the regular slowdown in the summer downtown.
Packaged merchandise at Gingerbitz is 40 percent off this week at the New Canaan store. Karen Zuckert will continue to do custom baking and those seeking to place an order can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-801-0281. The business’s website is under construction and will be finished soon at http://gingerbitz.com.