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Misconception About Boniere Bakery on Park Street

Dear Editor,

My husband and I owned and operated the Boniere Bakery for nearly 25 years until my husband had a stroke and several operations, which forced us to sell the bakery.

We were a union shop, bakers union and retail clerks all those years. We paid everybody’s health insurance and pension without co-payments. We still keep in touch with many of our employees.

Even though there were five bakeries in Alameda at the time, our business was profitable and very popular. On holidays we had customers lined out the door and on weekends we saw 50-60 decorated cakes ordered. Our wedding cakes went as far as Fort Bragg. On our last Christmas Eve day in 1999, we had almost 1,000 customers on that one day; that is a lot for a small business.

Our baked goods went as far as New York and we were featured in Gourmet Magazine.

We tried to help the new owner to make the bakery great again – my husband even helped with the baking, and I designed and printed brochures for them for a short time.

We did everything possible to make them successful. In the 5 years they were there, we reduced the rent by $40,000. But not even that was good enough. The lease was up last year and we no longer could give them such a big rent reduction. Now they are on their fourth bakery since 1996 – there is a reason for this!!! No successful business changes locations every 5 years.

Our motto always was, “give the people a good product at a reasonable price and they will come and buy.” We are still friends with many of our customers and they tell me every time how much they miss us.

I just want to set the record straight, since the landlord always gets the blame when a business fails.

— Regina Beck, Former owner of Boniere Bakery

11 comments to Misconception About Boniere Bakery on Park Street

  • hobnob

    Hmm, I have no idea why Mrs. Beck wrote in about Boniere Bakery, but I only knew the bakery when it wasn’t the Beck’s anymore, and it was not that great.
    I do wish I was there to see what Boniere Bakery was like when the Beck’s owned it, seemed like it was a great bakery with really good baked goods.

  • hobnob

    What I meant to say was, when Boniere Bakery closed down, I didn’t think it was b/c the rent was too expensive, but that they never had enough business to justify keeping the shop open b/c their product wasn’t that great, I had tried the breads and some cookies. I even had a cake tasting for a wedding cake and disliked everything I tried b/c it was too sweet!

  • alameda vigilante

    Thank you for the years you baked in Alameda! You were appreciated! Now we have NO bakeries–not even a donut shop. I hope another bakery tenant comes in soon.

  • Hobnob – the Becks own the property on Park where the bakery was located. When they stopped running the bakery, they kept ownership of the property, but turned over the bakery business.

  • Karen

    I’m curious about this letter, too. All the “gossip” I have heard indicated that the new bakers were poor business people with a not-so-great product.

  • One of the local print weeklies did a story last week on the bakery owners opening a new store in Oakland, and citing the “rent increase” as a reason for moving from Alameda…

  • Regina Beck

    My husband and I have gotten phone calls from many friends and former costumers , telling us we are being slammed as greedy landlords.
    We saw the article in the Alameda Journal and felt disheartened that a local paper would promote an out of town business that left of their own accord. The Journal made it sound like Alameda customers were not supportive and that Oakland people where more friendly.
    We found that the people of Alameda always supported us and the business community of this city.
    We just wanted to set the record straight , we did everything we could to help them to keep the bakery in Alameda. My husband and I invested many years in this business and we also had the support of our loyal employees , who care as much for the bakery as we did.

    Regina Beck

  • Karen

    Too bad the Alameda Journal didn’t get both sides of the story. But, then, when do they ever? I stopped reading it many, many years ago. It’s hardly even a local paper.

  • 94502

    The Journal is basically a real estate funded publication. They have few employees who even know there way around Alameda.

  • Fellow Alamedan

    I am sorry to hear that the a new bakery opened in Oakland and the Boniere name has gone there too. It’s sad to think that a great business name, associated with Alameda is gone. I remember when the Becks owned the bakery and the delicious cookies and cakes.

  • Diane Jatczak

    Regina you are at it again. Telling everyone that you gave us a break in rent in value of $40,000. What about the $100,000 that we invested in your building. You never did any improvements or fixed anything in that building. You never said when we signed the lease that you were giving us a break. The rent was 3,500. What about the time you called us and said we had to get out way back in June of 2010 because you had someone else that wanted to rent the space. Our lease wasn’t up until the end of October. So I guess the only way you could get us out was to raise the rent so high that we had to move. What about all of our equipment that we brought in and you wouldn’t let us take. That was thousands of dollars of equipment. Finally, lets talk about the name Boniere. You wanted to forgive a 1/4 that we owed, keep the 3/4 that we paid and try and resell the name again just as you did with Donna. Why don’t you let this story end and move on.

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