A journey that started 28 years ago will come to an end on Feb. 19. On that day, Broad Street Bakery & Cafe will permanently close its doors when the owners hang their aprons and retire. In 1994, in what is now Betsy’s Crepes, Steve and Jackie Grasso launched the bakery and cafe in Southern Pines. Over the years, it has expanded to include in-house dining and moved to its current location in 2001.
When asked why now, Steve stated, “It’s bittersweet, but for 28 years, we worked every holiday. We want to start enjoying the holidays again.”
Steve and Jackie met when he was working for corporate America, and Jackie was doing a lot of baking. After marrying and having their first child, the couple visited the area and fell in love with the pace and friendliness of the area. Discovering that the area only had one bakery at the time, they decided to fulfill a lifelong dream to own their own place. And the rest was history.
When you look at the cafe, you see a comfortable dining area, but what you don’t see is the commercial-grade bakery in the basement. “It’s a hot area with no windows. We call it the dungeon,” joked Steve.
“Running a business can be overwhelming,” Jackie added. “It is like you are married to the business, and it really is two businesses in one with the bakery and dining room.” But they will always cherish the friendships they created with the locals over the years.
Many local restaurants have been adversely affected by COVID-19, but Broad Street Bakery & Cafe actually saw a significant gain in business since the pandemic began. Steve believes since their business is predominantly carryout, it left them well-positioned at the start of the pandemic when restaurants were forced to convert to carryout only. Many had to close or significantly restrict their in-house dining.
Retiring is bittersweet for the couple. “We are going to miss the people and camaraderie but not the stress,” Jackie said.
After trying to sell the business for over a year, it recently sold. Steve did not want to share who purchased it because “I don’t want to steal their thunder, but it is going to be something new and different that the area has not seen.”
The bakery will be closing in a couple of weeks, but its memory and the relationships forged there will live on.
Feature photo: Broad Street Bakery & Cafe owners, Steve and Jackie Grasso, pose during a break from baking to say farewell and thanks for the support throughout the years.
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].