My Mom and Pop: 9th Street Bakery

On Friday, EV Grieve broke the news that 9th Street Bakery would be closing after 87 years in business on East 9th Street between 1st & 2nd Avenues.  This comes after their rent was more than doubled.  350 East 9th Street, the building that houses the bakery was built in the year 1875 by architect F.W. Kleivitz.

an historic photo of the bakery from their website

an historic photo of the bakery from their website

The bakery’s website recounts its history:

Max and Lena Wolkirmerski emigrated to US in 1913 from Zetel, Belarus. They opened up a bakery  on the corner of Allen and Stanton. Their children Joe, Harry and Helen moved the bakery to 9th and first ave where it still remains today.

Currently the bakery is owned and operated by Oleg and Tetyana a couple that emigrated from Ukraine in the 90′s .

an historic photo of the bakery from their website

an historic photo of the bakery from their website

In 1994, Harry Wolkirmerski’s nephew, Mort Zachter, received a phone call from a banker asking if he would like control of his Uncle Harry’s million-dollar money-market account.  Mort thought he was hearing things, as he knew of no one in his family having such a sum of money.  As it turned out, Joe and Harry Wolkirmerski had amassed close to $6 million during their time running the bakery.  Mort Zachter turned his discovery and subsequent journey into his family’s secrets into a memoir titled Dough.  It explores his childhood growing up in the 9th Street Bakery and why his uncles chose to keep their wealth a secret when much of their family was struggling financially.

L: Dough: A Memoir; R: Mort Zachter, right, with the current owners of the Ninth Street Bakery, Oleg and Tetyana Kucherenko (image courtesy of NPR).

L: Dough: A Memoir; R: Mort Zachter, right, with the current owners of the Ninth Street Bakery, Oleg and Tetyana Kucherenko (image courtesy of NPR).

Losing such a long-time neighborhood business with such strong roots in the community is always sad.  This Wednesday, GVSHP is hosting an event that will celebrate such businesses.  New York Originals – My Mom & Pop Greenwich Village will be presented by Jamie McDonald who will present segments from his Emmy Award winning PBS series “New York Originals,” which profiles classic small businesses in New York City.  He is also the author of a new book based on the series titled New York Originals — A Guide to the City’s Classic Shops & Mom-and-Pops, from which he will share specific examples of local businesses and their stories. Jamie will discuss the importance of these small shops to the identity of Greenwich Village and other neighborhoods and ways the public can help preserve these piece of living New York City history.  Space is still available, so email RSVP@GVSHP.org if you’re interested in attending!


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