Local Business Update: Duane Park Patisserie

First the good news: There are Ring Dings galore still in stock at Duane Park Patisserie, and the bakery is operating and waiting for shoppers or deliveries. (I stopped by to get “some for my nephews,” if you know what I mean, so I have to get more today.) The hours are 8a to 5p, and Madeline Lanciani reports that there’s been quite a lot of shipping in the past couple of days.

But the numbers tell a different story. Madeline laid off nine employees last week, bringing her staff of 13 to 4. As of this week, she is down to two part-time bakers, one person in the front for pickups and shipping, and her. In good times, her revenue is 60 percent events – birthdays, special events, supplying caterers – and that is 100 percent gone. The other 40 percent is walk-ins, and those have dwindled to about a quarter of the usual traffic. The math is bleak.

“That’s how I have always stayed in business all these years – it’s always just worked,” said Madeline, who opened on Duane Park 28 years ago, in 1992. “Now there are no parties, no events, and three-quarters of the neighborhood is gone. I would know – I see everybody every day.”

She’s run the numbers – and run them again – for best- and worst-case scenarios. In the best, this is over in a few weeks and online orders from neighbors keep the business afloat over that time. The worst has this week’s receipts continuing this way till the end of June. In that case, she will need considerable assistance from government or will have to close the shop.

“I’m an optimist, and I am hoping people are still in shock and are not going out,” she said. “Maybe there’s some hope that people will settle down and think, ‘I could use a treat.’ I hope then that they will order from people like me.”

So a thought: find a reason to celebrate, even if it’s small. And get yourself a treat.

Local Business Update: Duane Park Patisserie