Post Number: 2
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 2:26 pm: || |
Michigan's oldest bakery, opened in 1872, has closed. Burghardt's bakery, formerly on St. Antoine Street in Detroit (1872), Holcomb Street (1930), and later of Livonia officially closed up shop yesterday. They simply couldn't make it anymore due to the costs of business in Michigan and, more significantly, the cost of flour due to increased subsidies for ethanol. (Check out the "Thanks Ethanol" sign in their front window.
Burghardt's made outstanding german sourdough rye bread and was a great Michigan tradition.
WDIV did a story on it last night. The video is presently available on the WDIV website for those that missed it.
Any suggestions on where I can get my bread from now on??
Post Number: 147
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 2:29 pm: || |
How about whatever is the new 'Michigan's oldest bakery'?
Post Number: 4283
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:22 pm: || |
"due to the costs of business in Michigan and, more significantly, the cost of flour due to increased subsidies for ethanol"
both false tenets
Post Number: 2298
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:23 pm: || |
Says you. That's the orthodoxy in the U.S.: Pay no attention to that food being used as fuel. That has nothing to do with rising food prices. Blah blah blah.
Post Number: 4284
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:26 pm: || |
read and learn:
http://www.bioeconomy.msu.edu/ news/dale_msualumnimag_winter0 8.pdf
http://www.chicagotribune.com/ news/opinion/chi-oped0506fuelm ay06,0,481881.story
Post Number: 11754
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:33 pm: || |
I don't see bakeries going belly up everywhere, why is this unique to them. Perhaps business was down, less people on the sidewalk in that part of town?
When the news creates a sob story for a single business in an industry that is still pretty strong in the are I wonder if they are representing facts or opinions.
Sorry to keep it short but I have to make a quick trip to one of the thousands of bakeries in SE Michigan.
Post Number: 11755
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:34 pm: || |
Now a question: If Avalon went under and claimed the same reasons would they have gotten the press or the excuses. I suspect the story would be very, very different.
Post Number: 2299
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:37 pm: || |
Oh right. Those authors don't have any conflicts of interest, right? They just happen to have their livelihood provided by the biofuel industry. They're freakin' ideologues, pup. Hacks. The one guy is promoting his book fer Chrissakes.
Read and be had is more like it. No thanks, pal.
Post Number: 11756
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:45 pm: || |
Flour, from what I have read is upto about $25 for a 50 pound bag up from $12 per 50 pound bag previously (just a quick search).
That rise takes flour from 0.50 per pound from about 0.25 per pound. Assume about 4-5 cups of flour for a loaf of bread. That is about 1 pound so the cost of flour for has rising by about 25 cents per loaf.
Heck, even double it and the cost is up 50 cents per loaf. Are we getting the entire story from the bakery?
Correct me if my numbers or estimates are wrong.
Post Number: 4285
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:51 pm: || |
Hmm, that flour is from wheat, not corn, so why is the price going up? Could it be the cost of fuel (i.e. OIL) to farm, process, and deliver it (and all other crops, hence the rising food costs)?
How convenient it is for some to point at ethanol while the oil companies rake in record profits. Talk about someone being had.
Post Number: 571
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 4:53 pm: || |
As long as Knudson's is still open near McNichols and Southfield, I'm o.k.
Post Number: 54
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 5:12 pm: || |
if all the corn and soybeans weren't being used to feed livestock. . .
seriously, why do people get so upset about the use of land to grow crops for ethanol when SO MUCH land is used to grow crops that are fed to livestock? gas or hamburgers, which is more important?
JT1 is also right. I have heard Jackie make the same complaints about ethanol, but if she had to close up shop everyone would say it was the high cost of doing business in detroit. someone would probably also try to bring up crime and insurance.
Post Number: 7826
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 5:34 pm: || |
Why is there always blame when it comes to a place shutting down? Why aren't companies more willing to adapt to a changing market? It's always easy to shuck off some of that personal responsibility to growing a company. Now if they didn't want to change and fade into the sunset, retire, then that's fine. For every boo-hoo story out there, there are plenty of dynamic new companies thriving as well. Why not be one of them??
And while it's sad to see a wonderful piece of history go down like that, that's something they could've used as solid marketing to their advantage.
Post Number: 1136
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 5:55 pm: || |
As long as Knudson's is still open near McNichols and Southfield, I'm o.k.
I believe its "Knudsen's"; but in any case they spell it wrong......
Post Number: 131
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 5:59 pm: || |
I used to buy Peasant bread from Breadsmith but when the price went from $2 and something to $4 and something, I gave it up. Avalon might be an option.
Post Number: 1083
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 6:02 pm: || |
Wheat has gone up sharply over the past two years. August futures for soft white wheat (courtesy Central Washington Grain Growers, Waterville, WA) are $7.42 a bushel. Look for that to increase closer to harvest in August and September. Last year, they hit $12, two years ago they were running about $4.35.
There are many reasons for this, but the export market it booming, mostly due to 2 years of crop failures in both China and Australia. I do know that a lot of the wheat ranchers around here are driving new pickups......
Post Number: 241
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 6:03 pm: || |
I'm with Wood. Why get upset about corn being used as a fuel, and not when it's used to feed cows? Both uses can be viewed as wasteful, depending on your opinion.
And as anyone who has gone grocery shopping recently knows... the cost of all food has increased.
Post Number: 962
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 6:12 pm: || |
I for one am bummed, grew up on Burghardt's bread, always eaten open-faced w/ butter, sharp mustard, smoked ham and muenster.
Just the demise of another century old business from the area. Wouldn't be so bad if there were new businesses springing up to fill the void, however that is just not occurring.
I'll miss you, sour-dough friend!
Post Number: 1652
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 6:24 pm: || |
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/ news?pid=20601087&refer=home&s id=acnqou1542Qs
http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfi nancenews/article_1013045.shtm l
Highlights - corn prices +73% in the last year, wheat prices +100%, soybeans prices +65%. I expect that all of those tasty little doughy goodies will cost more.
Other food prices increase --
http://www.house.gov/jec/news/ 2008/May/Testimony%20USDA%20Dr %20%20Glauber-Food%20Prices.pd f
Post Number: 252
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 6:25 pm: || |
I am surprised nobody is blaming this closing on unions. Unions get the blame for everything else!
Post Number: 116
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 8:29 pm: || |
I used to buy sour rye from Chamberlin's bakery which closed after a fire (at least that's the story I heard). If anyone hears of a place that sells sour rye...I'd like to know! Does anyone know if Avalon bakes it?
Post Number: 91
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 8:55 pm: || |
Sussex 9936, there used to be 2 places on Warren just west of Greenfield called West Warren Bakery and the other place was Tysars that sold it.
Not sure if they are still there
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 9:05 pm: || |
A couple of points:
1. "I don't see bakeries going belly up everywhere, why is this unique to them." It's not unique to them. Many bakeries are struggling. However, they had a specialty product- sourdough RYE bread and didn't make much else. Because rye flour has been especially hard hit as more and more farmers turn to the production of corn for ethanol, among other reasons, they really had to raise their prices. See http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/sto ry/2008/02/20/wheat-prices.htm l (bakers struggling in general) and http://www.chicagotribune.com/ news/chi-fri-food-limits-apr25 ,0,344981.story (more specific to rye). Given what is going on in Michigan, its difficult to expect people to pay $4.99 for a single loaf of bread. Furthermore, just because all bakeries didn't go out of business doesn't mean that the cost of doing business in Michigan and ethanol subsidies didn't cause one bakery to go out of business. Certain businesses rely more heavily on certain inputs and are more affected by certain market fluctuations. In this case, rye was especially affected by the change in demand for ethanol, so its not surprising that a bakery specializing in rye bread would be among the first to go out of business.
2. "Hmm, that flour is from wheat, not corn, so why is the price going up? Could it be the cost of fuel?" Certainly it was also the cost of fuel that contributed to the closing. That bread has to be delivered by truck everyday. I never said, nor even implied that there weren't *many* factors that led to the closing. However, with respect to the wheat/corn distinction, you seem to be missing the big point w/r/t the ethanol subsidies. Whenever we subsidize one good, we make that more profitable to produce. That subsequently affects what is produced/grown by the manufacturers/farmers, they choose to produce the cheaper good for a larger profit margin. Because other goods then become more scarce as the subsidized good is preferred for production, without a change in demand of the unsubsidized goods, the price of these goods rise as well. In this instance, we have subsidized ethanol(corn) production, so we grow more of it. That means we grow less wheat, rye, etc. Unless the consumers now want less wheat and rye, the same number of consumers are vying for less wheat and rye. Follow basic supply and demand and see where the prices of these non-subsidized goods go. Up, sharply.
3. "Why is there always blame when it comes to a place shutting down? Why aren't companies more willing to adapt to a changing market?" My point in posting the closing (really!) wasn't to blame anyone or anything, even if it came across that way. Smogboy is correct, in business you have to adapt to survive, even if that means changing your 130+ year old product. I don't think a business like Burghardt's wanted to do that at this point. Nevertheless, I was just lamenting the loss of a solid Detroit family-owned business, a wonderful business owner, and a product that will be sorely missed by many.
Post Number: 4783
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 9:15 pm: || |
Sorry to hear this, especially as a rye enthusiast and love of local products.
I'm sure the reasons are many, and it just made sense for them to close up. No need for us to speculate as to why, although I'm sure the location is possible. And if it was the price of their inputs, I guess that's just the way it is. Supply and demand in a big economy.
Isn't there a place called Miami bakery also located in Livonia? I've seen some of their bread at Hiller's markets. There are other local makers of bread...you're not totally out of luck!
Post Number: 1232
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 9:23 pm: || |
Actually, there is Livonia Italian Bakery, West Fenkel Bakery and Maimi Bakery - all in Livonia.
Post Number: 117
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 9:28 pm: || |
Birwood: thanks for the suggestions....I'll check those out!
Post Number: 4289
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 9:28 pm: || |
Released June 29, 2007, by the National Agricultural Statistics
Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of
Corn Planted Acreage Up 19 Percent from 2006
Soybean Acreage Down 15 Percent
All Wheat Acreage Up 6 Percent
All Cotton Acreage Down 28 Percent
and if you bother to check at the link you'll find the rye acreage harvested up 11%, too.
Post Number: 2727
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 10:23 pm: || |
the ethanol thing is a big oil lie.
Post Number: 2082
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 10:37 pm: || |
I heard Burghardt was having trouble with their ovens last year and couldn't or didn't want to upgrade to new ones.
Post Number: 313
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 10:43 pm: || |
Cjd, great #3 post.
When looking for land that may be suitable for cellulosic ethanol,(grass-based),highway medians would be perfect. They are readily accessible to the transportation grid.
Post Number: 525
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 11:17 pm: || |
Isn't ethanol already mixed into the gas supply? Someone had a column recently that made the point that if we didn't "water down" the gas with ethanol, gas prices would be even higher.
Post Number: 4292
|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 5:04 am: || |
It is in small amounts in many places - 10% or less ethanol. Flex fuel vehicles are designed for E85 - 85% ethanol.
Post Number: 526
|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 9:36 am: || |
OK but it already has an impact on the gas supplies. Without it, we would be a further in the hole.
Post Number: 38
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 1:49 am: || |
I blame the unions for this one. Everything bad that happens is their fault.
BTW why don't people just make their own bread? That's what I do.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 9:15 am: || |
I don't want to get to technical about Lilpup’s post, but there's a couple more points about his "oops" post I think need some further comment.
First, it indicated that the acres harvested increased from 2006 to 2007. Although the 2006 harvest numbers were actual, Lilpup failed to mention that the 2007 numbers were only a "forecast." And checking further on the matter, I found that the forecast, and therefore the increase in acres harvested cited by Lilpup, was significantly off. However, 2007 actual production of rye did increase in 2007. ( http://www.nass.usda.gov, see statistics by crop, rye). But, looking at the larger trend, the production of rye has *decreased* over the last several years, from a high in 2003 of 8.6mil bushels to 7.9mil bushes in 2007; approx 8% decrease. (I note that production of wheat, also said to increase by Lilpup, suffers from the same pattern as rye, up last year but down overall during the same 2003-2007 period). Over the same period, corn production increased from 10.0bil bushels to 13.0 bushels, approx 30% increase. (same website, look under corn). This doesn’t seem to provide any support for Lilpup’s contention that corn subsidies haven’t affected the supply of any of the other grains. Also, this huge increase in corn production over the last several years ties into the next point.
Second, even though the acres of rye planted increased, the citation to one year of harvest data is a taking a myopic view of the situation. It doesn’t take into effect the longer term trend, some of which is evident in the grain stockpiles. These too affect year to year planting and harvesting decisions by farmers. Rye stockpiles are expected to be fully depleted by June/July. (http://www.reuters.com/article /ousiv/idUSN2 232840220080422?pageNumber=1&v irtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true). It seems to indicate that we’ve been using more than we’ve been producing. However, corn stockpiles have increased from approximately 10.5bil bushels in 2003-04 to approx 14.5bil bushels (38% increase). (Nass.usda.gov). That seems to indicate that we’ve been producing more than we’re using, classic behaviour for a subsidized product.
Third, w/r/t your link of rye harvest in 2006 and 2007, I actually read the report (thanks for reminding me to actually read it) and you didn't mention that the acres of rye planted actually *decreased* from 2006 to 2007. Because most rye grown is winter rye, I believe the 2007 planted rye is what will be harvested in early summer/fall 2008. Therefore, we’d be looking at decreased acreage of rye for the present 2008 harvest. Seems to me like this is some evidence that corn is supplanting other crops-- or at least rye.
Finally, although I'm a relatively new poster (but longtime lurker), it doesn't seem like the best place to discuss the US agriculture policies. As I stated above I'd love to hear about other places I can get good bread in Detroit, esp. german sourdough rye bread. Burghardt's main competition in this area, Chamberlain's, appears to have sold out a few years ago.
Post Number: 7359
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 11:47 am: || |
What's good of bio-fuel. When it cost more money to produce,reconstitute, refine before it reaches out to gas pumps. Bio fuels are not going to last.
Post Number: 4792
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 12:16 pm: || |
Well if we're talking about ethanol in regular unleaded gas, then it's good because it reduces the amount of a nonrenewable resource that we are taking out of the ground. There is also marginally less carbon emissions, right?
Regarding bio-diesel, where lots of different types of natural oil can replace crude oil, there can be a much bigger substitution effect, and a major pollution-reduction effect. Where efficient distribution of substitute oils are in place, there can be huge price effects (although now suppliers of waste-oil like restaurants have discovered that there is a market for their resource, and they don't just give it away anymore).
Biofuels are good, but I'll agree with anyone who contends that the subsidies to agricultural ethanol production have gone way over the line.
Post Number: 854
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 1:43 pm: || |
sure rising flour prices don't help, but their closure is almost guaranteed to be due to general decline of their location and less business. I don't see Avalon complaining about the flour problem.
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 2:03 pm: || |
I am not sure how Avalon in particular is dealing with the problem, but it is NOT an isolated one. All bakeries are complaining about the prices, "The Retail Bakers of America testified before the Joint Economic Committee on May 1, 2008, stating that the impact of high food prices has taken a toll on bakery owners, leading them to wonder if they will be able to stay in business or if they will be forced to close their doors." A quick google search for stories (only in Michigan) reveals that the problem is not isolated to one bakery:
http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/ 2008/04/area_bakeries_feel_bit e_of_ris.html (Area bakeries feel bite of rising flour prices)
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/new s_article.aspx?storyid=88485 (Expensive Dough: Wheat and flour prices on the rise)
http://www.mlive.com/news/inde x.ssf/2008/02/pcr_edited_wphot o_pcc_jean.html (Bakers pinched by soaring flour prices)(story out of Saginaw, similar to Burghardt's)
Post Number: 55
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 3:31 pm: || |
just ask ANYONE at avalon about flour prices andy linn. you'll get an earful.
Post Number: 1700
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 3:55 pm: || |
Long live... Avalon and Knudsens
Post Number: 274
|Posted on Saturday, May 17, 2008 - 8:15 pm: || |
SJMES, Do you want to chime in on this one?