Furious reason why this iconic family bakery is forced to close after 40 years in business: ‘We are devastated and heartbroken’
- The Bakers Oven forced out by NSW government bureaucrats
- Owner was the poster child for the post-covid Dine and Discover program
He was the poster child for the New South Wales Government’s Dine and Discover pandemic voucher scheme which encouraged people to return to cafes and restaurants.
But The Bakers Oven owner, Chris Kreketos, is now being evicted from the Sydney tourist district of The Rocks, which has been in his family for 41 years.
‘I’m exhausted. My heart is broken. Gutted — all at once,” he said A current situation.
“It’s a very hard pill to swallow.”
Mr Kreketos helped launch the voucher scheme in 2021, but two years later NSW bureaucrats decided not to renew his lease, ending the family’s George Street operation.
Bakers Oven owner Chris Kreketos (pictured) says he feels ‘used’ by the NSW government after being told he is being kicked out of his family-run bakery
His sister Val (pictured) said their father, who founded the company, is “heartbroken.”
He and his sister Val fought to keep the lights on during the Covid crisis and even hosted politicians and journalists for the launch of the Dine and Discover voucher.
NSW Deputy Secretary for Towns and Active Transport Kiersten Fishburn told A Current Affair The heritage building Bakers Oven is in urgent need of capital works.
“It’s not about taking money from anyone, we need to go to market, renew and renew licenses and make sure we get the best value for the people of NSW,” she said.
But when asked if he felt he had been used, Mr. Kreketos replied: “You could say that.”
He and his sister Val offered to renovate the bakery, but to no avail.
“We committed about $800,000 to restore and furnish the site and it was beaten back, not accepted,” Kreketos said.
“‘Undercooked’ is what they said.”
The owner of the Bakers Oven, Chris Kreketos (pictured), was the poster child for the NSW Government’s Dine and Discover pandemic voucher program
The Bakers Oven has been in the family for over 40 years. next Wednesday it will lose its doors for the last time
The beloved café was founded in the early 1980s by their father Bill Kreketos.
“He’s going through some health issues right now, so he’s also very, very heartbroken,” Val said with tears in his eyes.
“He just says keep fighting.”
She added: We put our blood, sweat and tears into the business. Every day seven days a week.
The Kriketos family’s lease expires April 26, while several other old businesses in The Rocks are also in limbo after being placed on month-to-month leases.
Anoush, who has run a souvenir shop for 30 years, said: ‘We’ve been out of business for two and a half years. Now that the case is back, they want us to go.”
Most of the property in The Rocks is leasehold and owned by the NSW state government.
Placemaking NSW is a state government advisory committee set up in 2020 to provide ‘strategic advice’ on the management of neighborhoods such as The Rocks and Darling Harbour.