The Cambrian

After a truck plowed through its wall, Cambria bakery is almost ready to reopen

Cambria bakery heavily damaged by vehicle that crashed into building

The French Corner Bakery in Cambria was open and filled with customers when a truck crashed into another vehicle and sent it through the wall on Saturday, February 25, 2017.
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The French Corner Bakery in Cambria was open and filled with customers when a truck crashed into another vehicle and sent it through the wall on Saturday, February 25, 2017.

Fans of locally made baked goods can take heart: Repairs to the accident-damaged French Corner Bakery could be complete by mid- to late-June, according to bakery owner Miguel Viveros and building owner Alvin Ferrer, who also is the owner of and pharmacist at Cambria Drug and Gift next door to the bakery.

Ferrer said Saturday, May 20, that he’d just spoken to contractor Paul Ferriera and learned that “the project is coming along nicely. When will it open? Sometime in June is the projection.”

“My stomach feels very happy about that,” the pharmacist added with a chuckle.

The reopening will be welcomed by those who’ve been yearning for months for the bakery’s signature products, from ginger or fruit scones and bolillo rolls to ciabatta, cinnamon rolls, Danish pastries studded with fruit or nuts and much more.

The bakery’s sales-and-café area were severely damaged Feb. 25 when a truck driven by Jeremy Preston plowed through the adjacent parking lot, crashed into two parked cars and pushed itself and a Mercedes inside the building.

The impact of the careening truck and Mercedes not only injured five people and tore out most of the side wall of the bakery’s dining/sales area, it destroyed nearly everything inside that area, including glass display cases. Viveros said he’s also had to replace some heavy bakery equipment, including an electric bread slicer and a 60-quart Hobart mixer.

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On the legal front, Lee Cunningham, the county’s assistant district attorney, said in an email interview Tuesday, May 23, that “the Preston case is being reviewed by one of our filing deputies. He had asked for some further investigation, and will make a decision (about what charges to file) when he has the additional information.”

Meanwhile, some other Cambria purveyors have noticed an uptick in their sales of baked goods.

Some, such as Linn’s, added products such as savory-filled croissants and jalapeño-bacon-cheddar scones and expanded open hours to try to fill the void. However, Aaron Linn said in a May 17 text interview that he’s not sure yet if he’ll keep offering those products and the 7 a.m. opening time after The French Corner reopens.

The most consistent question I get is, ‘Do you know when The French Corner is going to reopen?’ And I like that question! It speaks to the loyalty of Cambria’s residents. ...

Brianne Arrastia, owner/baker for Handsome Bakes

Rick Pfannkuche, owner/chef of Redwood Café, said he’s noticed “I’m selling more of my pies, cupcakes and muffins,” especially his buttermilk pies, apple pies, blueberry muffins and red velvet cupcakes. But he said he hasn’t added anything to his product line because of the French Corner’s temporary closure.

Brianne Arrastia, owner/baker for Handsome Bakes, said in a May 18 text interview, “It feels like The French Corner’s customers are more than willing to wait for them to reopen before looking elsewhere for baked goods. I haven’t been asked to make any changes because of the closure, which I can dig as I’m still shaping what Handsome Bakes is and its place in the community.

“The most consistent question I get,” Arrastia said, “is, ‘Do you know when The French Corner is going to reopen?’ And I like that question! It speaks to the loyalty of Cambria’s residents, which I like to be mindful of, both as a small business owner and a local resident. I’m moved by people’s continuing interest in The French Corner, including its owners and employees. Moved, but not surprised!”

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