Virginia Bakery in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto closing after 60 years

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Virginia Bakery has been in the Erdmann family since 1953. It's closing permanently on April 28 because the current owners John and Anne want to retire and hang out with their grandkids.

But the news is sending shockwaves across the East Bay to those devotees who swear by their cakes, cookies and pastries. Virginia Bakery is known for its themed kids birthday cakes and people are at a loss for where they'll go for the custom jobs. Their specialties include pink champagne cake and Danish butter cookies.

"Pink champagne oh that was a must pink champagne what are we going to do? Buy A few ahead of time and freeze them," customer Toni Sweet asked.

Customers drive from all across the east bay to pick up their long time favorites. Many spent their childhoods in the shop. Parents take their kids here for treats after getting shots at the local pediatricians office. John Erdmann says his parents met at a San Francisco bakery in the 1940s and became sweethearts.

They bought the Virginia bakery on the corner of Shattuck and Virginia Street and it's been in the family ever since. Now their three sons aren't interested in running the bakery business. They announced that they will be closing on April 28 on Monday. By Tuesday their Facebook post was going viral.

Customers were shocked by the closing sign as they walked in. One woman said she would have to make sure that her husband is sitting down when she breaks the news to him that his delectable morning bear claws would no longer be available.

A cake from Virginia Bakery is seen in Berkeley, Calif. on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.


"Their fudge cake is the best in the world. My husband buys pastries and bear claws here and flips out over them," customer Lu Stevenson said.

Virginia Bakery is overwhelmed by the sincere messages as they acknowledge their status as a legacy business in Berkeley's "Gourmet Ghetto."

"We've been in love with this place since we were little kids and it's heartbreaking they're closing it down now," customer George Barrett said.

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