A Note from Companion

I wanted to take a minute to comment on some of the chatter I’ve been hearing regarding the closing of our Central West End café. Some of it has suggested we “abandoned” the City. I really want to share the truth about our decision. In 2007, we chose to open a showcase bakery/café in the City of St. Louis in the Central West End. We invested nearly $750,000 in a location that had been abandoned by a national chain because they recognized the neighborhood business wasn’t enough unless they were in closer proximity to Barnes Hospital. We hoped, incorrectly, that we could make it work as a small, independent local company. All told, our losses in over 2 years surpassed a million dollars. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support of the neighborhood and the community we did build during our time in the CWE. We may not have lasted as long as we did without the patronage of all of our loyal customers. I am incredibly disheartened that it didn’t work. We simply could not continue to operate with such substantial losses. The other locations that we own have absolutely nothing to do with the decision. It was not a matter of selecting one café over another – or, as some have suggested, choosing the County over the City. We looked at what was happening in the CWE café and made the decision to close. Yes, sometimes, the bottom line (or lack thereof) has to trump community spirit. I, more than anyone, wanted to have another successful, sustainable business in the City of St. Louis. Our wholesale factory has been operating in South St. Louis since 1993. We didn’t abandon anything – we just closed an underperforming location. I hope that folks, especially our most loyal companions, understand and appreciate the decision. Thank you to all of you who have shared kind words and encouragement.  We would love to see everyone in Clayton or Ladue. We miss you all. -Josh Allen

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Comments (5)

  • John Duffy


    Thanks for the memories and for this explanation. We’ll miss you in the Central West End.

  • Dan


    Sadly, I’m cursed to go to Coffee Cartel now, with it’s terrible terrible terrible loud music and smokey environment. We miss you.

  • Amanda



    Have you considered using the space for a baking school?

    I think it would be a wonderful resource for young children, adolescents, young working people and older retired folks alike (especially with the Chess community next door).

    Best wishes to you and your fellow companions…I too will dearly miss the CWE location.

    With kind regards,

    Amanda Wegner

  • Matt S


    I love Companion bread, especially your epi loaf. Companion bread is amazing, and this is from someone who grew up “on the Hill” and has had a lifetime of good bread from Amighetti’s, Missouri Bakery, Marconi and Vitale Bakery. It is a real challenge to find a place with soup that is consistently good and that offers a nice variety of choice. You will be missed.

  • Benjamin Zalasky


    You guys have the best bread in town! I’ll miss you at the CWE location, but you can bet I’ll be making it to the Clayton location for some crusty Parisian bread…

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