After last week’s surprise shutter of Doughnut Dolly’s Berkeley location, the news has gotten more shocking: chef/owner Hannah Hoffman has closed all three locations of her pastry brand, effective immediately.
Hoffman made the decision after taking a hard look at the finances and choosing to cut her losses than continue them. “I took out loans, I put in every penny of my savings, I cut costs wherever I could, and it just didn’t work. It got worse,” Hoffman told Eater SF.
The trouble started when Hoffman opened in San Francisco, which she said cost double the amount of money than she had anticipated it would. “Opening in San Francisco set us back so much financially, and the cost of doing business and labor and ingredients and really bad sales in SF made running this business untenable,” she said. “It was a sudden decision because I really tried to save it. I did everything I could, and it didn’t work. It’s kind of a classic story, I think.”
Hoffman was referring to other businesses that just couldn’t make it work in the Bay Area — citing the price of labor, the costs associated with doing business, rent, and more — so much so that it’s becoming a common refrain from business owners. Recent months have seen the departure of Rose Pistola, Encuentro, AQ, The Advocate, and more, all for the aforementioned reasons.
For now, Hoffman is focusing on everything involved with closing a business before looking to the future.