- Advertisement -
More
    - Advertisement -
    - Advertisement -
    HomeNewsWeHo Adjacent Sweet Lady Jane Bake Shop Closes After 35 Years

    WeHo Adjacent Sweet Lady Jane Bake Shop Closes After 35 Years

    Sweet Lady Jane bakery announced the closure of its eight locations in the Greater Los Angeles area on New Year’s Eve, blaming the State of California for its downfall. The first bakery shop opened on Melrose Avenue in 1988. Although they call it their West Hollywood location, 8360 Melrose Ave is actually located in Los Angeles not far from the WeHo city limits.

    “After 35 years we are closing our doors. Our last day of business was December 31, 2023,” reads a statement on their social media platforms. “We did not come to this decision lightly nor quickly. While the support and loyalty of our customers has been strong, sales are not enough to continue doing business in the state of California, allowing us to service our lease obligations and pay our treasured employees a living wage without passing those costs directly on to you. For more than three decades, we didn’t just build a loyal customer base, we created a real community. It has been a privilege to be included in your sweetest moments. Big and small. LA’s most beloved Triple Berry Cake will live on in your memories, and in ours.”

    Sweet Lady Jane was founded by Jane Lockhart. Their dessert shops focused on using the best quality ingredients and simple technique to create something undeniably delicious and unique. Cakes, pies, tarts, cookies– these craveable desserts became popular throughout the Los Angeles area and more locations were soon to come.

    Sweet Lady Jane has been a premiere destination for every special occasion. Their aim to deliver the most special and delicious centerpiece for every gathering with a focus on consistency, quality, and taste made them a West Hollywood favorite. As their parting note states, their beloved Triple Berry Cake has been a highlight and spotted at the celebrations of friends and celebrities alike. The Melrose Ave and Larchmont locations were staples for decades before they expanded with six more locations.

    5 1 vote
    Article Rating
    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

    32 COMMENTS

    Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest
    32 Comments: We Want to Hear from You!
    newest
    oldest most voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    John Dallas
    John Dallas
    Offline
    3 months ago

    Jane and her family are multi-millionaires. They had no problem doing business in CA when things were good for them. And they didn’t share that wealth with their “treasured employees”. They had a huge injection of cash through investors and again, had no problem doing business in CA as they remodeled their stores and worked on new spaces.

    Radii
    Radii
    Offline
    3 months ago

    1988 to about 2008 was the heyday, this wonderful place started to have problems beyond some family dysfuntion and the first set of investors were brought in and off-site centralized baking started and the push to “lower costs” i.e., lower quality … A brilliant sales rep got them into Gelson’s and Costco and Trader Joe’s and they were wobbily navigating online ordering, opening Santa Monica, and sorting out their branding – Oprah put their Cherry pie on the cover of her magazine. Then investor #2 swooped in (billionaire from back East) with a hostile takeover and brought some asshole in… Read more »

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Radii
    3 months ago

    They were probably leveraged with a lot of debt. Back in 2021 & 2022 debt was cheap and now it’s very expensive. It’s obvious someone pulled the plug on their cash. Businesses don’t just close their doors like that. Whoever was giving them money told them the party was over and that was it. Obviously a lot of issues with this business. Maybe some day we’ll get the full story. Regardless, it’s a shame because the bakery in it’s hey day had a fantastic reputation and yes it’s unfortunate that many people unexpectedly lost their jobs.

    A SI
    A SI
    Offline
    3 months ago

    The first place they decided to close was the West Hollywood location. The place where it all happened. I remember when I first visited Sweet Lady Jane. I felt like a kid in the candy store. There were numerous delightful options to choose from! This was a super vibrant business with so many tasty options to choose. The “knowledgeable investors” eliminated most of these offerings… Only chose a handful. Who made these decisions and why? The West Hollywood location is what they (not the original owner) decided to close first. In the last few years, the store has hardly ever… Read more »

    Jason
    Jason
    Offline
    3 months ago

    Bogus they are blaming the closing on CA. They expanded too fast and ran out of funding. They had SIX locations all in high-end neighborhoods and were adding a few more that were to have opened in the next few months.. all in CA. They closed ALL of their locations on Dec 31, not just the Melrose location.And as for their ‘treasured employees,’ they found out they lost their jobs when the public did via Instagram. Shady AF.

    BSL90069
    BSL90069
    Offline
    Reply to  Jason
    3 months ago

    YES! This! Thanks Jason. IDK if SLJ was transparent with their employees or not about the closing, but if they weren’t who is shady in all of this now?

    BSL90069
    BSL90069
    Offline
    3 months ago

    Christ! Does everything have to turn to politics and blame. They closed. Period. End of story.

    Susan
    Susan
    Offline
    3 months ago

    I had posted on their Instagram my feelings regarding the employees who worked extra mandatory hours during the holidays only to learn via Instagram that they no longer had a job to return to. My post, as well as others were deleted and then access blocked. Employees had been aware that the company was for sale but no notice that the company was locking its doors. I understand the hardships of keeping a business alive in this difficult California economy but really? The closing is sad for many reasons but should have been handled differently.

    Joe
    Joe
    Offline
    Reply to  Susan
    3 months ago

    I saw that they were working a larchmont location that was almost complete is that now dead!

    Jojo
    Jojo
    Offline
    3 months ago

    Larchmont !
    decades ???

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    3 months ago

    It’s just devastating. It was an an absolute treasure.

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
    Offline
    3 months ago

    Why didn’t they let their employees know?!

    They got over 1 million in PP loans, expanded to several locations over the past few years, and were seriously remodeling several of their stores. And then suddenly just shut down?!

    This doesn’t make sense.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    It’s a PPP loan not a PP loan. They actually received 2 PPP loans for 2 different locations. Given the high rents they pay and the increases in everything from labor costs to ingredient costs to taxes apparently they were not making enough to justify keeping the doors open. People like you have no idea how much it costs a small business to operate in California and especially in LA county. Just wait and see the avalanche of closings in the next 6-12 months from higher labor and operating costs. These rents and higher costs are simply not sustainable for… Read more »

    david k
    david k
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    People have no idea what rents are for these spaces. There were spaces on Melrose place even 8 years ago going for 60K, a month!

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

     they were not making enough to justify keeping the doors open”

    Okay so why did they spend so much money rapidly expanding to over 6 locations over the past few years (probably millions) and renovating their locations? If costs were so high, how did they have enough to accomplish all of that?

    And then to suddenly close without ANY warning to employees?

    Do you ever consider the fact that the current ownership made mistakes and bad business practices? Or is every closure blamed on Newsom from now on? Get real.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    Did I blame Newsom? The problem is much bigger than Newsom although he certainly bears some responsibility. All businesses make mistakes. They are human beings. They are not perfect like you. Shutting down a business is not an easy decision to make. This was over 30 years of their life. Someone mentioned they tried to sell the business. I don’t know if this is true but if it is true the business probably could not be sold because it was not profitable enough given their high cost structure. I feel for the employees but I doubt they didn’t have any… Read more »

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

     Did anyone speak with one of the employees or are you just guessing that they had no warning????”

    Employees have been leaving comments on their instagram and the reddit thread here: https://www.reddit.com/r/LosAngeles/comments/18wbyqr/sweet_lady_jane_is_now_permanently_closed/

    I never assumed anything.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    LOL. Like Reddit is the gospel. A couple of disgruntled employees. Several were former employees not even current employees. Try running a small business some day and having to deal with employees. You probably sit around all day long drawing pictures so you have no idea what the real world is like. Employees come and go. They have no problem quitting without any notice or not showing up when they are supposed to work. No person who invested 30+ years into a business closes the doors unless there is a good reason. Stop making Jane and the owners out to… Read more »

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    “ A couple of disgruntled employees.” It was at least 12 employees I saw negative experiences from. One even said her belongings were still at one of the locations because they thought they were opening today. Unbelievable. “You probably sit around all day long drawing pictures so you have no idea what the real world is like.” I don’t draw or paint anything lol. You’re a pathetic wackjob, “Natasha”. You go on and on about “not assuming” things and then you proceed do that very exact thing. “Employees come and go. They have no problem quitting without any notice or not… Read more »

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    I’ll be happy to buy tissues for all the workers who are complaining. What a crock of BS. You never bothered to tell us how many people you have employed in WEHO. Please enlighten us. We want to hear about all those good paying jobs that you have created. You don’t have a clue what it’s like to run or own a small business. Everything with you is give me, give me, give me.

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    Please post your work experience and linkedin before asking for my work history, NATASHA.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    My work experience is I own a business that actually employs people. My employees all have great medical benefits and I match their contributions to their IRA. I can afford to do it but not all businesses are as fortunate. Thank God my business doesn’t rely on negative Nancy’s like you to survive. Apparently you are a taker not a giver. I also paid in excess of $30,000 in WEHO property taxes in 2023. How much did you pay? It’s fine to critisize business if they actually did something wrong or illegal but investors don’t just close businesses and lose… Read more »

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    Apparently you are a taker not a giver”

    More assumptions from you lol. Didn’t you just try and criticize people for assuming things? Accusing me of staying home and “drawing” all day 

    You love to accuse me of being a “taker” because I advocate for minimum wage workers? Okay “Natasha”…

    Your story is quite quaint but there is no proof you do any of those things. You comment under a pseudonym (as most of us do).

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    Wow, you sure are defensive. I hope you & pickles had a nice New Year’s. I don’t have a problem with you advocating for minimum wage workers I have a problem with you not understanding how small business works and not providing living wage jobs to people. When you become a job creator please let us know. Thanks.

    Zuzu Petals
    Zuzu Petals
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    Uh, Jane sold the business to a group of investors in 2022, so enough with your “30 years in business” BS. The recent owners were shady and ran the business into the ground. There is much more to this story than what the shady owners would have you believe.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Zuzu Petals
    3 months ago

    How about some facts instead of posting a bunch of garbage? How many people have you employed over the past 30 years? Just because the business was owned by investors doesn’t mean people like you are justified in trashing them without any evidence that they did something wrong. There are businesses everywhere that have investors. Are they all terrible people too? Keep up your anti-business attitude and watch a lot more businesses close.

    Susan
    Susan
    Offline
    Reply to  Weho artist
    3 months ago

    Yes, my daughter was one of the employees. No warning, she was contacted by a fellow employee after seeing the IG post.

    Singleguywh
    Singleguywh
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    Clarification – it was not “over 30 years of their lives”. Jane sold the bakery a handful of years ago to the current owners. I can’t address the finances or the arrangements.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Singleguywh
    3 months ago

    I have no idea if Jane sold 100% of the business or still retained some ownership. I cannot find details regarding the sale. Regardless, people don’t just close businesses for the sake of closing them. Maybe they have been living off of a bank line of credit which has gone from around 4.5% to close to 10% or even higher. When they started their expansion money was very cheap today money is not cheap. Maybe that is the reason. Maybe it’s the high rent, the increased labor costs, the increased cost of ingredients. It could be a million things but… Read more »

    Mary Kelly
    Mary Kelly
    Offline
    Reply to  Natasha
    3 months ago

    They were no longer a small business, Jane sold out to investors in 2022. they expanded well beyond need and now are taking a tax break for 2023 to save money. This has nothing to do with labor costs. And don’t be so snarky about the third P

    mike
    mike
    Offline
    Reply to  Mary Kelly
    3 months ago

    Facts don’t care about your feelings or opinions.

    Natasha
    Natasha
    Offline
    Reply to  Mary Kelly
    3 months ago

    Did they have sales over $40 Million dollars and over 1500 employees??? I don’t think so. Yes, they were considered a small business. Go take a business course. If Jane wasn’t part of the ownership I doubt she would have made the announcement they were closing. Did she have investors, yes she did have investors but that isn’t the same as she “sold out to investors”. Please only post facts do not make up things. I doubt you are privy to their financials and tax returns to determine they only closed for a tax break.

    RELATED ARTICLES
    - Advertisment -

    Recent Comments On WEHO TIMES

    Latest Articles

    32
    0
    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x