Far south Austin bakery and cafe Crema is closing this month. Its last day on 9001 Brodie Lane, Suite B3 will be on Saturday, September 17.
Founder Jessica Forkner Tomberlin is closing her bakery because the landlord was asking for a five-year lease, which she couldn’t do, writing that it was “the final nail in our coffin” on the Instagram post. “We can’t even pay rent now,” coupled with increasing supplies costs and issues with staffing. She noted that she has “taken on astronomical debt trying to keep us alive ‘until things get better,” but that time never came for the bakery.
Tomberlin tells Eater that she’d be up to opening Crema elsewhere, “we just need a different business model,” she writes over Instagram direct message. “Every restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol is bleeding right now, booze is carrying this city’s food scene right now.”
In 2022, Crema did receive $10,000 from Yelp’s fund for businesses impacted by the Texas winter storm of February 2021. During that time, the bakery lost power, which meant the loss of a lot of products and business sales; and lost water too. The team still gave away groceries, supplies, and water. Also earlier on during the pandemic, the bakery gave away free sack lunches to anyone in need and furloughed workers. Likewise, the team has been vocal about their support of social and political issues and often raised funds for related nonprofits.
Crema is known for its pastries like croissants, scones, and muffins; breakfast sandwiches; tacos; salads; and custom cakes and desserts; plus coffee. Forkner opened Crema in 2014. Through its closing date, the bakery will offer dishes and parties from older menus such as pistachio croissants, as well as offer frozen goods.
Crema’s impending closure is on the heels of another bakery shutter in late August: Wells Branch’s gluten-free spot Dream Bakery. Tomberlin shared the news of Dream’s shutter in mid-August on Instagram, writing then that “we very easily could be next,” and urged people to “step up for local business.”