CLEVELAND — A new year, a new round of departures. Two West Side Market vendors— Cake Royale and Dohar Meats— are leaving the 108-year-old Cleveland institution for good.
The West Market is currently operating at an occupancy rate of 74% and a vacancy rate of 26%, according to the City of Cleveland.
Announcing its departure on Facebook Sunday, Dohar Meats—a staple at the West Side Market for over 60 years— expressed gratitude to customers and fellow vendors for supporting them over the years.
Angela and her husband Miklos, who took over the family business in 1987, said customers can still buy meats and other products at their store located at 6039 State Road in Parma.
Across the way in the bakery part of the market, Cake Royale announced just before the new year that, after 16 years, it was closing up shop, citing a steady decline in its profit margin over the last four to five years.
Cake Royale said since it's currently undergoing repairs to its storefront location at 4276 Pearl Road after a car crashed into the front. It’s only accepting whole cake and custom orders by calling 216-351-3553.
Like many other small businesses, 2020 was particularly hard because of COVID-19 as foot traffic was down and profits for Cake Royale fell between 50 to 70%.
According to data released in August 2020 by the city, which manages the market, the year was off to a good start with traffic up in January and February from the previous year.
Traffic began to decline in March with a total of 53,300 visitors during the month, compared to the 93,700 visitors reported during the same time in 2019.
Throughout the pandemic, the City of Cleveland made changes to better accommodate vendors and visitors, including changing operating hours to open later in the morning in order to stay open later in the day.
The city also suspended three months of rent to help ease the burden of the pandemic, but some vendors couldn’t hang on any longer.
In June 2020, Pinzone’s Market Fresh Meats announced that after 44 years it was closing and consolidating the business to its Parma location.
Issues at the market pre-date the pandemic. In 2019, Maha’s Falafel and Turczyk’s Meats left as well.
News 5 has reached out to the city for current vendor capacity, including vendors that have left in 2020. This story will be updated once that information is released.
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