After 56 years of service, an iconic Parkchester bakery closed shop last week.
Located at 29 Hugh J. Grant Circle, Zaro’s Bread Basket officially closed its doors on Monday, December 28 after serving the Parkchester community since 1959.
Signs displayed on Zaro’s front door informed the public of the local icon’s closure and explained their landlord, Olshan Properties, would not renew the store’s lease which was set to expire on Thursday, December 31.
“We have a long history of working with small store operators and entrepreneurial tenants. Unfortunately, Zaro’s Bakery could not meet the terms for renewal for this space,” said Jim Davis, Olshan Properties senior vice president of leasing. “However, we are currently trying to work with them on another store location at Parkchester.”
An exact relocation site for Zaro’s has yet to be determined as of press time.
Scott Zaro, co-owner Stuart Zaro’s son, said their Parkchester closure was unanticipated and though Olshan claims they gave Zaro’s the opportunity to renew their lease, he says this was not the case.
He explained they received a letter from Olshan stating their lease would not be renewed.
Scott said the Parkchester store’s last day saw many of his family members, Zaro business associates and loyal customers in attendance to enjoy the bakery’s trademark delicious challah, bobka, black and white cookies and ruggelach.
“We’re grateful for the 56 years we had at Parkchester and it wouldn’t have been possible without our loyal customers and employees supporting us throughout the years,” said Scott. “Although, we’re saddened by the loss of this store, we will keep moving forward and see about opening another Bronx location in the near future.”
Scott said Zaro’s has received several emails from business brokers and companies following the news, but nothing has been finalized.
According to a Community Board 9 spokeswoman, the Zaro’s location will now feature a Boston Market.
She added that residents have been contacting the board to express their sadness about the bakery’s sudden departure.
The CB 9 spokeswoman further stated that Zaro’s closing, coupled with another nearby bakery’s demise, has left the area without a local bakery to satisfy their cravings.
Leonard’s Bakery located at 1572 White Plains Road, was forced to close, along with several other veteran businesses, to make away for a mixed-use development.
Sarah Alleyne, a Parkchester resident for 45 years, was surprised to hear Zaro’s was closing.
Alleyne, the P.S. 106 parent association president, said she often asked Zaro’s Bread Basket to donate to school events which they gladly did.
Founded in 1927, Zaro’s Bread Basket is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business that began after Joseph Zaro’s arrival to Ellis Island from Poland.
By 1976, Joseph’s sons, Phil and William, had established the business as a 20-store chain with locations in New York and New Jersey.
The following year they opened their Grand Central store, which paved the way for them to open one in Penn Station.
Keeping with tradition, co-owners Stuart and Joseph Zaro, Scott’s uncle, oversee the present day to day operations for the family business.
For more information about Zaro’s Bread Basket, visit www.zaro.com.