‘We will have to claw our way back’: Swissbäkers has reopened its Allston location

"Today we are cautiously optimistic," the Stohr family said in a statement.

Pretzel rolls at Swissbäkers
Pretzel rolls at Swissbäkers. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

When Swissbäkers, a local bakery excelling in pretzel rolls, Berliners, croissants, and other baked goods, announced its closing in early December, fans of the family-owned business were crushed.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we must inform you that we have to close our doors,” owners Helene and Thomas Stohr said in December. “We want to thank you for letting us help start your morning the Swiss way for the last 13 years, it has been an honor.”

But on Thursday, the bakery shared the news on its website and social media that the Allston location at 168 Western Ave. has reopened, with plans to revive its other locations once “a few more major hurdles” are cleared.

The statement, which was written by the Stohrs and their sons, Tobey and Nick, explained that this is a soft and partial re-opening.

“Helene, Thomas, Tobey and Nick are baking, cleaning, and serving. We can’t yet bring back wage-earning employees, but we hope to soon, if this goes well. With a few more major hurdles to jump, we hope to start operating in our other locations as soon as possible and of course, we hope to make this permanent.

We can’t tell you how joyful we felt yesterday prepping food and cleaning up the café to prepare to welcome guests. It was the brightest day we’ve had in a long time.

Today we are cautiously optimistic. Despite the issues that required us to close in December, we have been working very hard since then on various restart strategies. A small group of pro-bono advisors has helped us get to this day. Our partial re-opening this week is just the first step to putting us on the pathway to launching Swissbäkers 2.0.”

Swissbäkers did not immediately respond to’s request for comment.

In December, Tobey, who handles logistics and sales for the business, told The Boston Globe that while he couldn’t comment on details of the closure, there were “certain things that we had no control over that prevented us from succeeding in the neighborhood of Allston specifically. There have been things that been happening there that have really hurt us.”

After opening its first location in Reading in 2009, Swissbäkers expanded to outposts in Allston, North Station, and Harvard Square’s Smith Campus Center, as well as an additional location at Boston Public Market that closed in October. It hosted a “final bake-off” on Dec. 7, and has been mostly silent on social media — until Thursday’s announcement.


For now, the Allston shop will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends with a limited selection of coffee and baked goods. Extended hours, plus additional reopenings, will hopefully follow.

Still, the Stohrs admitted that launching Swissbäkers 2.0 won’t be easy.

“We will have to claw our way back,” they wrote, “but as always; we look forward to serving you!”

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