[UPDATE] Ohlin’s Bakery Has Some News, but It’s Not Great
UPDATE, July 19, 1:30 p.m.: A Belmont native and former Ohlin’s Bakery employee has launched a $50,000 GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the doughnut shop.
“Ohlin’s is just such a staple of Belmont,” says Jacqueline Davis, the fundraiser organizer, who worked at the bakery when she was a teenager. “If they can’t get up and running, that’s just a huge detriment to the community.”
Davis now owns her own small business advisory company, Virtually Here, so she is familiar with the crowdfunding process, she says. The Klemms did not know Davis planned to fundraise for them until they saw the online page this afternoon. They are touched by her efforts, Marybeth Klemm says via Facebook message.
“That was so nice of her! We are feeling so much love from everyone right now! We greatly appreciate how much everyone cares!” she says.
The fundraising goal is a best guess on Davis’s part.
“We still do not know how much everything will cost,” Klemm says. “When we hire the contractor to do the floors, walls, plumbing, electrical we will know more.”
GoFundMe does not have rules against community members fundraising on behalf of private businesses. Donations made to the campaign go through whether it reaches its $50,000 goal or not.
Ohlin’s Bakery finally has a little clarity on its future following a gas oven explosion in its Belmont kitchen back in March, but not very much. Owners Paul and Marybeth Klemm shared an update on Facebook this morning, telling their fans they recently found out insurance won’t cover the full cost of the necessary repairs.
The update comes after the Klemms, whose family has owned the 101-year-old bakery since 1967, learned their landlord plans to begin repairs on the building “soon.” But the business owners themselves would be responsible for upgrading the retail store into an up-to-code bakery.
… such as… a certain kind of flooring, fire suppression system, walls, new sinks, electrical up grades, plumbling up grades, plans from architect, etc.
Our insurance company will pay for the things that were damaged during the explosion, like the oven for instance. Our biggest problem is our insurance will not cover any code upgrades that we need. We are trying to figure out how much all this will cost us. We will need to see if this is something we can personally afford. We are incredibly nervous and stressed about the unknown.
Contacted for more information on their plans—like whether they would consider launching a crowdfunding campaign, or scouting a new location—the Klemms responded that they truly don’t know how they will proceed at this time. (See update at the top of the page.)
“We were told the code up grades could be expensive but we do not know how expensive,” they wrote in a Facebook message.
Some fans are willing to support reopening efforts: One Facebook follower says she could donate “at least give all the cost of all the donuts i would have purchased since the bakery has been closed” to a crowdfunding campaign. As of this morning, the comment has 20 “likes.”
Ohlin’s Bakery, which frequently lands on lists of best doughnut shops in the Boston area, was open 365 days a year for cakes, cookies, cinnamon buns and other pastries, scones, breads, and classic doughnuts like jelly-filled, old-fashioned blueberry, chocolate cake, and more.
“Our family has been in the bakery business for 100 years and we would like to continue to bake again. We love baking and feel proud that we have won recognition as a bakery, and for our donuts!” the Klemms wrote in their public post. “We miss all our customers and want to see you all again! We love that you miss us and send us messages every day! It truly makes us feel loved to hear your kind messages to us. We will keep you posted when we figure all this out.”
Ohlin’s Bakery, 456 Common St., Belmont, 617-484-0274.