Long-time Walnut Hills bakery closing for good

Residents in the “food desert” community say the bakery’s closure leaves them without a lifeline.
Long-time Walnut Hills bakery closing for good
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:13 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) -After nearly four decades in business, a Walnut Hills bakery has decided to close its doors.

The owners of Giminetti Baking Company announced they plan to shut down next month. They list inflation and the costs of running the business as factors.

The move follows the closure of the bakery’s companion business, the Bread Bar Restaurant, in February.

Jim Ciuccio, company president, says he was originally inspired to open the bakery 37 years ago after watching his father own and operate a deli in Hyde Park.

“I was watching restaurants come in and buy bread, and we had this big garage behind the place, so I decided to open the bakery back there and started selling it wholesale... and it’s grown into this,” he said.

Ciuccio says it’s been rewarding to be in the Walnut Hills community for so long.

“Our head oven guy has been with us for 37 years,” he said. “He came from this neighborhood, and it’s really been refreshing to understand what this neighborhood is about. It’s not what you see on the news all the time. A lot of great people live here.”

But with the pandemic and now rising food prices, Ciuccio says it’s time to hang up the aprons.

The decision has caused disappointment among those who grew up with the bakery.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Phillip Bullock. “I thought they were going to stick around.”

Bullock says the bakery has become a lifeline for those without cars in the Walnut Hills community, sometimes labeled a “food desert.”

“It’s kind of tough. We don’t have no grocery store up here,” he said. “They took the Kroger down here, so we don’t have nowhere to shop now but the Dollar General, you know?”

While the bakery is leaving, the building will remain. A charter school has purchased the property.

“They’re going to do a trade school and teach some very important job training and so forth, so I’m really happy about that,” Ciuccio said. “They’re going to take the restaurant and do something with that as well, so I’m really excited to see what they’re going to do with it.”

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