'What a loss': Cumberland Bakery closing after decades in Des Plaines

  • The Cumberland Bakery in Des Plaines has ceased operations after more than 45 years in business. It will reopen for one final weekend in June, owners say.

      The Cumberland Bakery in Des Plaines has ceased operations after more than 45 years in business. It will reopen for one final weekend in June, owners say. Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/6/2022 6:25 AM

Long known for tasty doughnuts, cakes and other treats, Des Plaines' Cumberland Bakery is shuttering for good, its owners have announced.

"It is with saddened hearts to share that we will be closing the doors of Cumberland Bakery permanently," members of the Nerwin family said in an emotional letter posted on Facebook. "The past two years have been difficult and we have made the decision that it does not make sense for our family to continue business as usual, as much as we would like to."

 

The bakery, at 36 E. Northwest Highway, essentially closed the day before Easter, store manager Julie Nerwin said Thursday. It will open one final weekend in June, but dates haven't been set. Those dates will be posted at the bakery and on Facebook, the family said.

The rising costs of baking supplies because of the COVID-19 pandemic was the primary factor behind the closure, said Nerwin, the daughter of co-owner and executive baker Gary Nerwin. It's also time for Gary Nerwin, 60, to retire, his daughter said.

Cumberland Bakery was founded in 1965. Gary Nerwin started working at the bakery in 1977 and took over the business in 1989, its website says.

In their farewell message, the Nerwins noted they've shared "over 30 years of our lives, recipes, memories, holidays and so much more with you, and have cherished it all."

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The family's announcement prompted an outpouring of support on Facebook, with more than 200 people posting messages and memories.

Wauconda resident Cindy Rumore said she fondly remembers going to the bakery with her grandparents when she was a kid.

"I also would come in and buy many loaves of seedless rye to take to my dad in Missouri when he retired," Rumore said. "He ate a loaf as soon as I arrived."

Palatine resident Amanda Cunningham posted a message for the Nerwins, too.

"What a loss for the community," Cunningham wrote. "Your bakery has been a staple for our family, who has even moved out of the area but still visits often."

Joell Sharp said Cumberland has been her family's go-to bakery for 20 years.

"You have been a part of every holiday and celebration in our family," she wrote. "We will miss all of you!"

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