Friday, July 11, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Hesh's, a Northeast institution, closes

Peg Pendergast , 79, of Rhawnhurst, has daughter Helen Fanning, 56, of Willow Grove, take her photo in front of Hesh´s, which baked wedding cakes for both of them.
Peg Pendergast , 79, of Rhawnhurst, has daughter Helen Fanning, 56, of Willow Grove, take her photo in front of Hesh's, which baked wedding cakes for both of them. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Peg Pendergast , 79, of Rhawnhurst, has daughter Helen Fanning, 56, of Willow Grove, take her photo in front of Hesh´s, which baked wedding cakes for both of them. Gallery: Hesh's, a Northeast institution, closes

PHILADELPHIA  Hesh's Bakery, a Northeast Philadelphia institution known for its butter cookies and chocolate-chip pound cake, closed over the weekend after more than a half-century in business.

A message posted outside the kosher bakery, in the Rhawnhurst section of the city, said: "It is with a very sad and heavy heart to tell you that Hesh's Bakery is now closed and will not be reopening. We thank you for your patronage. We will miss you."

No further explanation was provided. The bakery's owners, William and Sharon Krodthoff, could not be reached for comment Sunday.

The family business had been open since 1959; the phone number displayed outside the building on Castor Avenue still begins with two letters.

Longtime customers who heard of the sudden closing rushed to the scene Sunday to investigate.  Hesh's was a fixture for Helen Fanning and her family as they grew up in Rhawnhurst. "From doughnuts on Sunday to birthday cakes to graduation cakes," said Fanning, 56, who now lives in Willow Grove.

She recalled snacking on butter cookies on the way home from school as a girl. Later, when Fanning had her first child, a friend brought Hesh's cookies to the hospital.

"I don't think there was an event we didn't have Hesh's at the table," Fanning said. "It's going to be sorely missed."

Fanning said siblings and friends had been buzzing about the unexpected closing since they got word Friday, but they don't know what happened.

Another patron, Kris McCourt, said she would miss the butter cookies ("out of this world"), which always seemed to make her feel better when she was sick.

McCourt's daughter got her wedding cake there a couple of years ago. "It was a small bakery. It was in the area. Had a great reputation," said McCourt, 50, who stopped by the bakery Sunday on her way home from shopping after her daughters texted her the news. Now she and others are scrambling to figure out what they'll do for the next big occasion. Fanning's family always gets her father a strawberry shortcake from Hesh's for his birthday. He turns 89 in March.

"What are we going to do for Dad's birthday?" she asked.

 


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