Back to Square One.
Farewell to our retail store
I’ve been contemplating what to write for months. For weeks now, I thought I had it down – what to say, how to say it, the spit and polish I’d put on this letter. But honestly, now that I’m pinned to the keyboard, I’m suffering from more than just a loss of words. I’m truly verklempt.
On December 24th at 4pm, we’ll be closing up our little shop on NW Kearney. Not for our usual holiday break. This time we’ll be locking the door and handing off the keys to someone new.
We’ve loved the last six plus years – getting to know the neighborhood, feeling loved by our regulars, watching their children grow up (employing a few of them, even,) sharing tales happy and sad with all of you. We cannot thank you enough.
But the truth is, we’ve reached an economic impasse. My sister and I started Two Tarts with the idea of providing tiny, delicious treats made with quality ingredients at an affordable price. We’ve made good on that promise for eight years now. We’re still using the same stellar butter, flour, market-fresh produce, and organic eggs in which we believed. The only thing that’s changed for us is the cost of doing business. For the last nine months, we’ve kept our cookies priced at just below dollar each, or $9.75 per baker’s dozen. Truth be told, in order to make a reasonable income, they really should be priced at $1.25 each. But that’s not in keeping with our original mission. $1.25 for a small cookie doesn’t seem fair to me. The cost of dairy has nearly tripled in the last eight years. Health insurance (which we provide for our employees) has doubled. The City of Portland has imposed some strangely punitive fees on small businesses (paid sick leave, sewer upgrades, signage, etc.) And 23rd Avenue rents are now out of our league.
So we’re locking up the shop. Where does that leave us?
Back where we started. At Portland Farmers Market.
Beginning with the winter market on January 3rd, Two Tarts cookies will, once again, be available exclusively at Portland Farmers Market. We’ll work three markets in 2015 – Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Without the expensive overhead, we’ll be able to hold our prices steady and continue to bake amazing little cookies for you to enjoy. The only real change is that you’ll have to deal with some fresh air in order to purchase them.
We cannot wait to see you there.
With love and gratitude,