I am Raymond, the current President of Diamond Bakery.
Before the pandemic, Diamond Bakery was set to keep its door open for another decade. We've been open since 1946 and had everything we needed to keep going.
Diamond Bakery has always supplied to many other restaurants in Los Angeles as well as grocery stores. With the pandemic, restaurants shuttered their doors, some declared bankruptcy, and those that remained open ordered significantly less from us.
Once we had enough money gathered together to re-open, the protests and looting happened. Our neighbors got looted, and many had to shut down their doors. We were lucky to get only a couple of broken windows.
Many of our daily regulars were our neighbors—coming in for a cup of coffee, a danish, or some delicious bourekas. Now, with their businesses closed, that's even less of our regulars coming in.
We don't want to close
Unfortunately, the pandemic has hit everyone hard. We don't want to close—and that's why we need your help. We just need to survive for a couple of months as the pandemic lasts. Optimistically, until the end of this year.
If we can survive throughout the end of this year, we should be back on our feet and ready to go for next year.
With the donations that we can get, we want to keep as many of our employees on payroll, as well as keeping our doors open seven days a week. We want to keep having our goods available on the food delivery apps like:
- Uber Eats
- Grub Hub
With your help, we won't be in danger of having to close anytime soon.
If you care to learn a bit about the history of Diamond Bakery.
It started in 1946 during the time when the Fairfax District had a significant Jewish population. There were many other Jewish delis, markets, and restaurants here. Canters had beaten Diamond to the punch just a couple of years earlier here on the strip.
In the early 1970s, the Rubinstein family took over. Since then, it has always been a family operation. During its heyday, there were always lines out the door. On Fridays, the only day we sell our extra-rich challah, more lines. There were several employees behind the counter ready to help customers—and one employee dedicated to only answering the phone.
In 1993, the eventual downfall of the Fairfax District was foreseen. There was an interview with then co-owner Mark, that saw that the Fairfax District was losing its popularity.
Even the neighboring fishmarket's owner saw it too: "'This neighborhood was begun by my father’s generation and they’re getting older,' says Kevin Mason, who runs a fish market with his father, Bob. 'The young people are not coming in, it’s all senior citizens.'
Mark Lottman says in the article: 'I’ve been working here since I was 13. Then it was a circus around here. Now it’s only like that on the holidays. The streets are quieter. There just hasn’t been an influx of new people the way we had in the past and that is sad. This area just hasn’t caught on again.'
It was sad to see this back in 1993, and it's sad to see it now. It is definitely true that not everyone can appreciate the classics. People nowadays go to the grocery store for their quick fixes—but ignore the artisanal goods. The goods made by hand. Not by a machine.
I, Raymond, have worked at Diamond Bakery for the better part of the last decade. My father has worked for almost 30 years here. A couple of employees and I banded together and decided to buy Diamond Bakery from the Rubinstein's. Steve Rubinstein had been wanting to retire for quite a while.
It was, and still is, my goal to bring Diamond Bakery to this decade. I've implemented the acceptance of credit card payments, added a website and online order, an espresso bar, coffee, renovations, and other great things. I'm well aware that Diamond Bakery has had its facade neglected. Just a tiny bit.
Unfortunately, the pandemic pulled the rug from right under us. Passover was essentially canceled for us this year. The Jewish Family Center still hasn't completed its construction.
If you have any questions or want to be updated, email me or sign up for our newsletter on our website: www.DiamondBakeryLA.com
- Melinda Rose
- Roger Curtis
Los Angeles, CA