Barrie bakery forced to toss desserts after fire at adjacent factory

Barrie bakery forced to toss desserts after fire at adjacent factory
Barrie bakery forced to toss desserts after fire at adjacent factory

‘We could lose a lot of our customers’ during cleanup process, says president of Pfalzgraf Patisserie, which has discarded 1,600 cakes

A longtime Barrie bakery, which has been supplying frozen cakes nationwide since 1992, has been plagued by smoke damage from a recent fire at an adjacent business and could be shut down for the next two or three months.

During a visit by a BarrieToday reporter on Monday to BiEco, a maker of biodegradable paper straws on Saunders Road in the city’s south end, for a follow-up story on the April 23 fire that occurred there, a buzz of activity could be seen at the adjacent business, Pfalzgraf Patisserie .

A pair of workers with cakes in each hand were tossing them into a dumpster at the back of the building, as fans were running, blowing contaminated air out of the building.

No one was available for comment at BiEco, which was locked up tight, but a couple of employees were in the bakery business along with its president, Bernd Seyried.

When asked by BarrieToday About his first thought when he arrived at the scene during the fire, he exclaimed “holy smokes!” with a bit of laughter, which did n’t quite mask his obvious exasperation.

“There’s lots of environmental damage with the soot and smoke,” he said. “To get everything up and running, we have to clean everything and start fresh.”

Seyfried says there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for the business due to the neighboring fire.

His initial fear was the fire had spread to his business, which was not the case, but there was a lot of smoke damage.

None of his employees were working on the night of the fire.

“Over the course of this (cleanup) process, we could lose a lot of our customers,” Seyfried lamented.

“We do a lot of wholesale and sell to distributors,” he added. “They move on, right? If they cannot get the product from me, then they’ll go to someone else.”

The company sells and ships their frozen dessert products across Canada.

Seyfried said insurance is covering the cleanup as far as the damage is concerned, and for part of the staff’s income, “but they are not covering our customers.”

“There’s no guarantee our customers will buy from us once we are up and running again,” he said.

Pfalzgraf employs between 16 to 18 employees.

“They are staying home and getting paid through the insurance,” Seyfried said.

Typical production at the bakery would see them producing between 1,200 to 1,500 cakes per day.

But now that they are shut down for an extended period of time, within a week they will run out of some of the finished items they have stored in an off-site freezer.

Most of their wholesale customers will also see an end to deliveries in two or three weeks time before stock runs out.

Meanwhile, the restoration firm working for the insurance company continues its work among dozens of wheeled racks piled high with unfinished cheesecakes.

The cleanup crew has filled two dumpsters out back with cakes, which have already been taken to a landfill.

Sadly, the filling of a third dumpster was underway as 1,600 of the specialty desserts are donated to the city landfill’s seagull and raccoon residents.

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