Durham bakery closing weeks after accusations from former employees
Posted September 8, 2020 2:26 p.m. EDT
Updated September 8, 2020 3:16 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — A Durham bakery is closing its doors permanently.
East Durham Bake Shop announced via Instagram on Tuesday that it would be closing for good on Sunday.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after a group of former employees spoke to WRAL alleging a toxic work environment at the cafe located at 406 S. Driver St.
"It is with so much sadness and heartache that we share that we will be closing our doors at the end of the day Sunday," a post on the business' Instagram page said.
Ali Rudel started East Durham Pie Company in her home in 2015 and after a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $24,000, she and partner Ben Filippo opened the brick-and-mortar bake shop in March 2018.
In interviews with WRAL, 14 former employees alleged that Rudel and Filippo created a toxic work environment that involved racism, lack of financial transparency and overall disregard for the community around them. The former employees interviewed worked at the shop in 2018, 2019 and as recently as March.
The allegations involved racism against Black employees, transphobic comments, lack of transparency about wages, worker safety and the cleanliness of the shop. Rudel has denied the accusations.
East Durham Bake Shop will be open this week Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The owners also opened a market at 2026 Angier Ave. No word on if that will be closing as well. The current hours for the market are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.