The number of bakeries in Newton has doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but All Over Newton founder Lauren Berman said it hasn’t all been sweet for the new shops.
“Bakeries and small restaurants are notorious for having incredibly thin profit margins, and recently those margins have become thinner,” Berman said. “Because of the rising food, utility, and labor costs, lots of business owners are working ridiculously long hours just to keep their doors open.”
So, All Over Newton launched its first Bakery Crawl.
Eleven bakeries located throughout the city, from Newton Centre to Auburndale, participated in the crawl, where customers could explore new treats at discounted rates. Each bakery brought unique tastes and flavors to the table during the event, which spanned from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1.
Customers slammed the 11 bakeries during the crawl. Many sold out of pastries within hours of opening.
“I went to Breadsong Bakery in Auburndale, and they were all sold out of bakery boxes,” Berman said. “The owner, she was very happy about that. I also went to Lakon Paris Patisserie, and they had also sold out of croissants within hours.”
The crawl is one of several events All Over Newton, a company that promotes local businesses, is hosting to spur revenue for local businesses throughout the fall. Berman said residents can look forward to events such as a Crafts Crawl and December shop-and-stroll in Newton Centre.
Berman created All Over Newton as a response to restaurant shutdowns at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, food makers and growers had no outlets for their products,” Berman said. “At the same time, the community was looking for contact-free ways to get these products. I put up a site to increase the connection between the growers and makers and the Newton community.”
Berman came up with the crawl in honor of a uniquely sweet holiday: National Bakery Day, which falls annually on Sept. 30. The crawl, she said, served as a chance to help new customers discover local bakeries throughout the city.
“I wanted to find a way to promote traffic to these bakeries and let people know about all the different offerings,” Berman said. “Newton is a big city divided into different villages—someone may not know what’s offered in another village.”
Antoine’s Pastry Shop—now in its 57th year in Nonantum—is a family-owned French and Italian bakery well known for classics like Napoleons. For the crawl, it offered a deal in which customers could buy two cannoli and get one for free.
Another business that participated, Bettina’s Bakery, is known for its German and Latino-inspired treats, including crunchy, cinnamon-topped conchas and German apple cake. During the crawl, Bettina’s offered $3 off any purchase over $15.
Blacker’s Bakeshop in Newton Centre, a kosher, pareve, and nut-free bakery, offered a $2 sample bag of rugelach, a small pastry made of crescent rolls with sweet filling.