108-year-old Norfolk bakery working to keep nostalgic eatery alive – wtkr.com

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NORFOLK, Va – The French Bakery in the Riverview section of Norfolk is nothing short of a treasure.

“My grandfather started this in 1912, 108 years ago,” said current owner George Habib.

Now Habib is the lone baker, working 18 t0 20 hour days to keep his families bakery and deli alive.

“Now I am the last man standing, my brother was supposed to be after me but he died 3 years ago right in the back by the oven,” Habib explained.

His families multi-generational business is now in crisis due to Coronavirus.

“Business went to zero,” said Habib. “I had one day where total daily sales were like 18 dollars, I mean how do pay someone when you can’t even pay yourself.”

But Habib is mustering on with a mission to keep the business near and dear to his heart thriving.

“I am doing the best I can, its hard especially to compete with big businesses,” said Habib.

Before March, customers would flock in for his french horns and baguettes made in a century old brick oven or his piled high famous pastrami sandwiches.

‘Then we have orange donuts, eclairs, pork sandwiches, and European buttercream cakes that nobody around here makes,” he said.

Delectable deli sandwiches and french delights getting even harder to create with a strained supply chain adding even more stress.

“we can hardly get anything,” said Habib. “They cut me down to 1 case of pastrami a week, I mean how can we live off that?”

As the stay at home order is slowly easing, he hopes the community will come out for a bite to eat as he works to keep a 108 year old legacy alive.

“If I have no community, I have no business, which means we are out of business,” said Habib.

Visit the French Bakery at 4108 Granby Street, Norfolk.

Source: Thanks https://www.wtkr.com/business-went-to-zero-108-year-old-french-bakery-working-to-keep-nostalgic-eatery-alive