Community-focused cafe Mission Pie, founded in 2007 at 2901 Mission Street, will close this fall, operators tell Mission Local. That means the store’s 13th-annual community pie contest, to be held this August, will be its last ever — though the business won’t close until September 1.
Mission Pie partners Krystin Rubin and Karen Heisler had recently discussed the difficulties of doing business in the age of online delivery. Now, the duo has decided that their long-running business, which has 25 employees, isn’t financially sustainable. And changing the way they do business, by eliminating roles, moving the shop, or otherwise cutting costs, isn’t an option, for them, either.
“It is possible to launch a beautiful enterprise in this time and place,” Heisler told Mission Local. “But this time and place is no longer a match for this particular enterprise, with its particular goals and ambitions and values and priorities.” Those values — beyond quality breakfast pastries, seasonal pies, and galettes — included a focus on equity and fair pay.
Update, 3 p.m.: Mission Pie has updated its Facebook page with a statement, below. And, in a statement to Eater SF, Heisler explains her decision to delay an immediate closure.
“Mission Pie is and has always been a place of community and relationships,” Heisler writes. “Sharing a final chapter of celebration with our employees, neighbors and friends better reflects our values than closing suddenly.’
Every day, we are awed and deeply moved by your love for Mission Pie as well as your sustained presence here at the shop: the morning coffee, the weekly meetings, the Wednesday knitters, the Friday morning banana cream pie date, the afternoon bowl of soup. There’s so many more; it’s tempting to list them all. We have witnessed many of you through momentous changes and accomplishments, profound growth, deep losses, new beginnings. We’ve baked your wedding pies, we’ve watched your children get big. We’ve also been together through more mundane days and weeks. All of it has mattered.
So now for the hard part: Since we opened in 2007, and most notably in the last 5 years, the costs of operating Mission Pie have increased substantially, mostly in direct reflection of the extraordinary increase in the cost of living in the Bay Area. As a result of the increasing costs, Mission Pie’s profitability curve has been leveling and even tipping downward, even as we’ve gotten “busier”.
Our priority has always been to be a good work environment that sustains and lifts up our employees while maintaining an environment that feels welcoming to the broadest range of people. It’s been our mission to offer food that is nourishing, wholesome and accessible while respecting every hand that touches it-from grower to cook and baker to server to you. It’s been our delight to offer delicious, healthy, honest fare at a price the greatest number of people could afford.
As costs have increased beyond what revenues from a small corner business can stay ahead of, we have been exploring new growth initiatives to help Mission Pie thrive into the future. Each option we looked at revealed itself to be either a poor business decision (we’re looking at you, delivery apps) or ran counter to our identity and values. Sometimes it was all those things.
After a lot of deliberation, we concluded that we don’t want to abandon our core values and we don’t want to ask our community to bear witness to a slow collapse of a beloved place. So, we have made the heart-rending decision to close Mission Pie at the end of the Summer. Our last day of business will be Sunday, September 1.
We have made this choice because we believe wholeheartedly in what Mission Pie has been and promised to always be. We are sharing this information early because we want to welcome you to share a season of celebration of what we hold dear together and to have the opportunity to come together in thanks-we would not be here if you had not been here with us. So come let us thank you for the last 12 years. We’re glad we got to spend it with you.
- Last meal: Mission Pie will soon close its doors [MissionLocal]
- Custard’s Last Stand: Mission Pie vs. the gig economy [Mission Local]
- Mission Pie Facebook]