Food & Drink

Updated: Jewish Bakery in Oak Park Closes After 108 Years

July 03, 2023, 7:11 PM by  Allan Lengel

Challah (Photo from bakery's Facebook page)

Update: 7:10 p.m. Monday -- Star Bakery, which had been in business for 108, and operated from its current Oak Park location since 1954, officially closed its doors on Sunday.

Early Sunday morning, the bakery posted this on Facebook:

After serving the community for over 100 years, it is with great sadness that today, July 2, 2023, will be the last day that Star Bakery will be open.  We want to thank our loyal and hard working staff and the generations of our customers who have enjoyed our delicious baked goods for over 100 years.    Many of our favorites will still be available at Diamond Bakery, our sister bakery in West Bloomfield.


Story From June 21

The city of Oak Park was once chock-full of Jewish bakeries that produced rye breads, kaiser and onion rolls, challahs and such sweet delights as seven-layer cake, rugelach, babka, hamantash, kichel and minature sprinkled cookies.

But many of the city's Jewish bakeries including Modern, Miami and Mertz, disappeared over the years as part of the Jewish population passed or migrated north to places like West Bloomfield, Franklin and Commerce Township. Some closed when the owners died or retired and no family members wanted to take over.

Now, Star Bakery on Coolidge, south of 11 Mile Road, is closing on July 2 after 108 years in business, WXYZ reports. It opened in 1915 in Detroit, operating at two different locations before moving to its current spot in Oak Park in 1954 where some Detroit Jews were migrating. 

Owners Daniel Buckfire, David Schechter and Stacy Fox, who bought the place in 2021, cited rising costs for labor and ingredients, and difficulties left  from the pandemic. 

Rugelach (Star Facebook page)

“It was a very hard decision to close, and we did everything we could to try to save Star Bakery and make it profitable,” Buckfire said, according to WXYZ. “Wholesale was always a significant part of the business at Star Bakery, and we determined that we were no longer competitive on this side of the business.”

Esther Leibowitz and her late father, Ben Moskovitz, had owned the Star for more than 50 years before selling it in July 2021. On any given day, they could be seen working at the bakery. After the father stopped working there, Esther continued to run the place. Ben Moskovitz died in April 2021 at age 97.

In recent years the counter help included teenagers and Russian immigrants. And there was always a section for day-old products at a reduced price.

Oak Park still has a Jewish bakery, Zeman's Bakery on Greenfield Road. There are others in Southfield and West Bloomfield.

In November 2021, shortly after purchasing Star, the group bought Diamond Bakery in West Bloomfield. That will remain open.  

Hamantash (Star Barkery photo)

Seven layer cake (Star Bakery photo)

Chocolate Babka (Star Bakery photo)


Read more:  WXYZ

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