The owners of The Sparrow Bakery have announced the closure of their original SE Scott St. location on Bend’s east side.
Owners and married couple Whitney and Jessica Keatman released a statement, citing labor shortages as the leading factor in the closure.
“Hiring and retaining workers, henceforth referred to as “labor,” has been a challenge for us at the bakery even before the pandemic era,” the statement read in part. “Since Bend recovered from the recession, labor has been in relatively short supply in this town – I know that most if not all of my service industry friends would agree.”
The Scott St. location began operations 15 years ago, and its last open day will be September 6.
In the statement, the Keatmans said they have hit a wall after the constant turnover this year and an average employee retention of less than 120 days.
“It’s hard to sleep at night (literally) contemplating what you are doing wrong as an employer, what you could do more, not to mention feeling exhausted with the coordination and pressure of constant hiring, teaching, and attempting to maintain job satisfaction. The truth is, as most of you know, this labor anomaly is not limited to our company,” they said.
The Scott St. location needs over 20 employees to be fully staffed, and after Labor Day weekend, it will have only six adult employees left.
All full-time staff members will be offered other positions within the company.
The Keatmans have owned and operated the business since it began, and they assured customers the location on Bend’s Northwest Crossing Dr. will remain fully operational.