HASTINGS, Minn. (FOX 9) - Emily's Bakery and Deli has been a staple in Hastings, Minnesota for more than a century. But in a few weeks, the business that has been in Norine Bishop's family for nearly as long will close its doors for good.
"It's been crazy. It's sad," Bishop said. "We wish we didn't have to do this at this point in time, but it’s kind of the time is what it is."
Bishop says difficulty finding qualified bakers to replace two employees who are leaving is the main reason she and her brother, who are co-owners, have decided to shut the business down.
She says the worker shortage has also made it difficult to fill about 10 other staff positions, and after nearly four decades working nights, weekends and holidays, the pair of siblings are ready to call it quits.
"It’s been very hard. It's been a very hard decision for us," she said. "This has been in our family. This is all we know."
The bakery, named after Bishop's grandmother, has been owned by several generations of her family for more than 73 years.
Emily's Bakery and Deli in Hastings, Minnesota (FOX 9)
Since word got out that it is going away, hundreds of longtime loyal customers have called and stopped by to say goodbye to one of the only bakeries in town.
"This place on a weekday morning. You can hardly find a place to park, it’s so busy. They have wonderful quality food here," one customer said.
"It’s a sad day. It’s a sad day for Hastings," another customer said.
Bishop says Emily's will be continue making tasty treats until the Saturday after Thanksgiving. After that, customers will have to cherish the sweet memories of the business at the center of town life for so long.
"Oh I would say it’s the end of an era," Bishop said. "I'm going to miss them too."