93-year-old California bakery forced out of business by high rent, crime in Oakland

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A beloved bakery in Oakland, California, shut its doors for the last time on Sunday, citing rising crime and the high cost of rent as reasons for its closure.

A Taste of Denmark, originally known as Neldam's, opened in 1929 and served the Oakland community for generations. Employees of the bakery turned it into a co-op and renamed it in 2010. 

But the business ran into hard times when its catering business took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A big part of our business is the catering business," co-owner Ramon Luna explained to FOX 2 San Francisco. "And so when the pandemic happened it took that whole catering business out of the equation and made it really hard for us to stay open."

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Oakland bakery A Taste of Denmark shut down due to pervasive crime and the high cost of rent. (FOX 2 San Francisco)

Luna also said the business had difficulty coping with rising crime and the exorbitant cost of rent in the Bay Area.

"The rent’s really high. And we get our windows broken every three weeks," he added.

Customers visited the old-fashioned establishment over the weekend to bid farewell. One customer said that five generations of his family enjoyed the bakery's treats.

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Loyal customers visited A Taste Of Denmark to bid farewell to the old-fashioned bakery. (FOX 2 San Francisco)

"We’ve always had birthday cakes here and every other kind of goodie for all these generations," Larry Baack said. "From my grandparents to my parents to me to my children and my grandchildren."

"I’ve been coming here since I was 8 years old, and I will be 58 on Saturday," long-time customer Alise Henderson reminisced.

The bakery, which specialized in Danish and French pastries, offered popular treats such as cashew curls and vanilla bites. 

A Taste of Denmark, originally known as Neldams, has specialized in Danish baked goods since 1929. (FOX 2 San Francisco)

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"It’s the best, it really is," customer Jan Novie said. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s old-fashioned and delicious and reliable that way."

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