Astro Coffee and Ocher Bakery in Detroit are closing this month

Astro Coffee and Ocher Bakery, two local favorites, are set to close on Sunday May 15, more than a decade after the first cafe opened in Corktown.

Astro, which briefly reopened its Corktown location earlier this year, shared the news in an Instagram post on Wednesday, May 4, saying the cafe and Ocher Bakery were closing permanently this month.

“It’s hard to really know what to say in times like these, but we’re forever grateful for all the love and support we’ve had over the past 11 years of having a business in this city. For Customers , producers, partners and employees past and present, we couldn’t have been blessed with a better community to be a part of,” the statement read. A Call to Owners Jessica Hicks and Dai Hughes was not returned.

The New York Times Once described Astro Coffee as “meticulous” in sourcing beans “from places like Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco and George Howell Coffee in Acton, Mass,” hinting that its presence in Corktown was a sign the city was in going up.

When its doors opened in 2011, it marked one of the first “third wave” cafes to enter the Motor City, a cafe that not only emphasized the quality of its beans, its bakery and its amazing range of egg sandwiches, but also felt like Cheers in many ways for the regulars who frequented the place. Since then, a stream of new cafes, bakeries and artisan food businesses have continued to reshape the city’s local food and drink offering.

In 2017, the cafe announced plans to start roasting its own beans at its new “roast house” in Core City, and in 2019 owners Jessica Hicks and Dai Hughes launched Ocher Bakery, providing Detroiters with one of the few bakeries that focused on making bread. .

Within months of opening, Ocher has achieved critical acclaim both nationally and locally, beloved for its impressive menu of sandwiches, pastries and seasonal ingredients.

But like a growing number of other beloved food businesses in Detroit, the pandemic has put pressure on Astro and Ocher’s operations. The flagship Corktown site closed in November 2020, halted roasting operations and began offering pours and espresso drinks from its roasting space.

The property had taken to the businesses’ Instagram account frequently over the past two years to share their experiences running businesses through the pandemic, as well as to update the public on the efforts they were making to support their workforce and to raise awareness in vulnerable communities impacted by COVID-19[FEMININE

Detroiter Lauren Hood, une dirigeante locale à but non lucratif, fait partie des nombreux adeptes d’Astro-Ochre. Elle a dit que même si l’espace lui-même pouvait dégager des vibrations hipster, elle a été attirée par l’attention de Hicks et Hughes sur à peu près tous les détails des entreprises, des listes de lecture musicales organisées, des pratiques d’embauche, du souci de la façon dont les travailleurs étaient traités et de la qualité. de ses ingrédients. “Il y a tellement d’intention dans chaque détail chez Astro et Ochre, vous savez, qui le placent à des années-lumière au-delà de tous les autres” café-venus-dernièrement “”, a-t-elle déclaré.

Suite à l’annonce des fermetures d’Astro et d’Ochre, un certain nombre d’autres entreprises alimentaires qui ont ouvert leurs portes dans les années qui ont suivi l’entrée en scène du café Michigan Avenue ont exprimé leur amour pour les deux espaces.

“Beaucoup d’amour et une profonde gratitude à l’équipage et à la famille d’Astro & Ochre. Toujours reconnaissant pour toutes vos conversations réfléchies, [collaborations] and advice and support over the years. Now for some self + family time,” said a post from another Corktown cafe, Folk.

“We literally can’t count the number of songs that only exist because of [Astro Coffee]read another post from Assemble Sound, the Detroit music company whose hub is based in a former church near Astro’s home location.

There’s no word yet on what might be next for Hicks or Hughes. Fans can drop by before Sunday to bid farewell.

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