Sad but true, Frice Pastry, the upscale North Portland pastry shop run by Alissa Frice (St. Jack), is closing, with Frice announcing plans to eventually reopen. The news broke yesterday on WWeek and was quickly follow up by a post on Frice Pastry's Facebook page that said it's "time for us to leave our location on North Williams." Frice Pastry shares the space with Philippe's Bread, with Lardo located next door, and all three businesses are overseen by ChefStable. According to WWeek, Frice was given two weeks to vacate by ChefStable and Frice Pastry and Philippe's Bread are having issues.
"We have an over $1M wholesale bakery now, and we never expected it to get that big."
Speaking with Eater today, ChefStable's Kurt Huffman offered his side of the story. "I built the bakery too small," he said. "We have an over $1M wholesale bakery now, and we never expected it to get that big. N Williams isn't as busy as we expected it to be, so we responded by really growing wholesale, which is great and has gone gangbusters for us. But in terms of space, the space was just 1000 square feet too small. We came to a point where we need to make tough decisions about how we're going to survive. We just can't accommodate a very ambitious pastry program and this quickly growing wholesale program."
While Frice Pastry focuses on French-inspired pastries, Philippe's Bread bakes breads, including breads for ChefStable restaurants. According to WWeek, Huffman said that Frice Pastry was losing a lot of money and the two businesses were "stepping on each other."
So what's the future hold? Frice Pastry will open for the last time at 4082 N. Williams Ave. this Saturday, November 14. Eater has reached out to Frice and will share updates. There is no word yet on whether Frice Pastry will remain a member of ChefStable, but Huffman says he hopes so and has offered ChefStable's help in finding a new location for Frice Pastry. Stay tuned as things develop.