Carl Skalak of Blue Pike Farm wrote this:
The picture of a barn raising, a community effort to collectively help out a neighbor seems quaint and out of reach for those of us of a more urban persuasion. Well, the local food community is a community too and one of our own suffered a calamity this weekend in the form of a assault and robbery.
Michael & Marika Feigenbaum were robbed again this Memorial Day weekend at their bakery, “Lucy’s Sweet Surrender” on Buckeye Rd. Fortunately, nobody was shot this time, but Michael got roughed up more than a little bit. I saw him Saturday morning about 4 hours after the assault and he was gamely trying to keep up with the orders but was visibly hurting. They lost several days worth of store receipts and the cash box for the day’s farmers markets. While he didn’t mention a figure I’m sure his loss was more than several thousand in cash alone. Money that will take months of effort to recoup. Theirs is not a business with large profit margins.
Michael is a stubborn cuss, from Russian Jewish stock and will, I expect soldier on. Marika is still shaking and I think still not really yet recovered from being shot last year. But this kind of calamity is not only a serious financial hit, but more so an emotional blow. Two violent robberies in 18 months is a bit much, even by Cleveland standards.
“What’s political is also personal. If you believe in something, you should be willing to make sacrifices to support it, even if it’s expensive or inconvenient.” (Russ Parsons, L.A. Times food writer)
What can you do? Well, if you need a loaf of bread, food for a graduation party, office event, family get-together or just because you like quality baked goods consider making a purchase from them at the store on Buckeye or at one of the farmers markets (Shaker Sq. or Crocker Park on Saturdays). If you are already a customer, buy something extra. There is little downside for you because “Lucy’s Sweet Surrender” makes quality stuff (I’m a fool for his poppy seed goodies) . And your support now can make a big difference in gritting them back on track.
You won’t get any splinters in your fingers and you’ll help rebuild their business too.
Bravo to Carl. I couldn’t have said it better and I think what he’s trying to do by encouraging all of us to get involved in this small, simple way is brilliant… and right. Please act on his suggestion and pass this call for help on to everyone you know. Thanks.
I’ll be presenting a program about holiday food traditions and where to find seasonal ethnic treats around Cleveland on Thursday December 16 at 3:00 p.m. in the ballroom at Judson Manor. The event is free and open to the public. My talk is not the only attraction. First on the agenda is a tour of the Manor: built as a luxury residential hotel in 1923, the unique and elegant apartments are now part of Judson’s Smart Living continuing care retirement community. My speeches typically make people hungry.
Luckily, after you listen to me, refreshments will be served including assorted European style cookies from Lucy’s Sweet Surrender and one of baker Michael Feignebaum’s chocolate and chestnut Yule Logs.
RSVP required. Call (216) 791-2004. Judson Manor is located at 1890 E. 107th Street in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. Free parking is adjacent to the building
Just got back from filming a segment about Cleveland Ethnic Eats for Golden Opportunities, a show that airs at 11:30 Sundays on WKYC Channel 3. (Not sure when it will actually air). Host Armond Budish and I chatted about the book, but what we really wanted to be doing was diving into the platters of food that were spread on the counter in front of us. Chef Michael Annnandono of Michaelangelo’s sent down a sampling of some of the cured meats, chesse, olives, and grilled vegetables that regularly show up on his antipasti cart. There were two big trays from Aladdin’s Baking Company on Carnegie: filled with miniature meat and spinach pies, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, tabouleh, and baba ganoush. Baker Michael Feigenbaum of Lucy’s Sweet Surrender on Buckeye had put together a selection of his European specialties including bite size strudel squares and cream cheese pastries.
The smell of all this good stuff was tough to resist, and once we were done taping, I noticed some of the crew eyeing the feast longingly as they swept it off the set to make way for the next guest. I left (but not without popping a few bites into my mouth on the way out the door) but I’m guessing that later in the afternoon, some people enjoyed quite a lunch.
Heading home, I stopped at the top of Cedar Hill to get fresh bread for Saturday and Sunday morning from Zoss the Swiss Baker. They still had some of my favorite seeded rolls left, so I bought a dozen (they freeze well and taste great when I sprinkle a little water on top and reheat in the oven) plus brioche and croissant.
All in all, a good day because I got to spend so much of it thinking about ethnic eats!
just look at what Michael can do with butter cream!
This morning Michael Feigenbaum, owner of Lucy’s Sweet Surrender, the fantastic Hunagrian bakery on Buckeye Road, sent me a link to an interesting blog that appeared on Carolyn Jack’s Geniocity about his efforts to survive the economic downturn. http://blogs.geniocity.com/jack/tag/michael-feigenbaum/ . (It was posted in January but he just found it. The section about him is a few paragraphs in, after a bit about a local photographer).
The most important take away message from that post- and this one- is that if we like being able to eat fresh handmade strudel and authentic dobos tortes, than we must help him stay in business by getring ourselves out to his shop or onto his website and buy his products year round and not just on holidays and for special occaisions.