Hello Sin-able Sweets Customers and Friends. We just were “notified” (meaning we were ONLY told about it at all when I reached out to the City Manager, Mr. Daniel, to find out if there would be any more street closures) that on September 8th and October 16th, the City of Mount Angel (CMA), in cooperation with Discover Mt Angel (DMA), will be closing East Charles Street, in front of the bakery, from 1PM until 8PM even though we objected to this. This is their “Next Friday” party that they are closing the street down and thus requiring our customers to have to walk quite a distance to get to our bakery.
So, because CMA and DMA, are closing the street down in front of the bakery, thus requiring all our customers WE WILL NOT BE OPEN on Friday, September 8th and October 16th.
While many would think being open during a street party would be beneficial, almost 100% of our customers are from outside Mt. Angel. We were never fully accepted into the local community because we “didn’t fit in”. A lot of this was that we don’t live in the area (I was told I shouldn’t have a business 1 hour away from where I live) and that we have tried to search outside the box and not continue to do the same things only because “that’s how it’s been done”. So, we will have our quick scan QR code in the window to inform people of our products for the one or two people a month that would travel to this area for our amazing products. We just need to make sure you understand we do not see a better way to allow you, our customers, to shop with us no matter if you have mobility issues or simply force someone to walk blocks when the businesses parking spaces are just being used for a street party. Since our customers would be staying away, we’re going to save every penny we can during all times of no business.
For those of you who want to know ‘the rest of the story’ from our side I would like to take a moment to explain why we are closing, the following is the background on the situation that led to this decision:
We know many of you won’t care about the ‘behind the scenes’, but since many of you have asked us “Why” about so many of the oddities of Mt. Angel in the past, we wanted to lay it out for everyone who wants to read it.
When this group (DMA) was first being formed, instead of going around and speaking to the businesses in town ahead of time and letting them know what was going on in the background of the Mount Angel Chamber meetings, they would simply say “Interesting things are happening.” I do not know about you all, but I know I prefer to have people be honest with me. Do NOT tap dance around something with me, be honest and up front and say it. When the DMA group was started, it was originally part of the Chamber here, but they have broken away because the Chamber does not really promote the town, only the festivals they put on (Oktoberfest was started by the Chamber originally). DMA decided to try and attach to Silverton and their First Friday celebration by creating “Next Friday”. When I was “approached” by the leader of the DMA group for their first street party he just walked in a few days before the first event and handing me an 8 ½” by 11” piece of paper telling a little about the street party and at the bottom was the line, “Refreshments provided by the merchants”. Many businesses, especially after the pandemic, do not have extra money to throw at something has not been planned for, and we do not. When I tried to find a way to work with the leader of the group, I was basically told that is the way it is and if I did not like it, I should be going to their meetings. I reminded this person that I live 1 hour away, unlike most of the people in the group, and I was told that I should not have opened my business in Mt Angel then! I guess that means we should apologize to all of you who learned of our great products BECAUSE of our location here, and those of you who have found new businesses in the area (sadly most now gone) also because you drove out here to our location.
While there have been street closings in the past the city did leave the main ‘downtown’ part of Charles from Main to Garfield, and Garfield S. of Charles open. These were all done without discussions with the businesses on Charles and even included a Christmas Market event where they never told the venders where to park and they filled up all the 2 hour parking on Charles street for the entire day with not a word from the market organizers. We heard from almost every customer that day about how far they had to park and walk to get to the bakery and that was ALL avoidable.
A month or so ago a person representing themselves from DMA came in and asked if I would be ok with Charles Street being closed in front of the bakery at 4PM. I told them NO, I close at 5PM. He asked what if the street was closed after 5PM, I told him, I have no say since I am closed. I also expressed that Sin-able Sweets has many customers that have a difficult time walking, so he suggested they use the one handicapped parking spot around the corner on Garfield across from City Hall and then walk to the bakery. On August 11th, DMA posted handmade signs saying no parking from 4PM to 8PM for their street party. I contact Mt Angel’s City Manager/Chief of Police, Mark Daniel, and asked about this and requested a copy of the Street Closure permit with my signature on it. Mr. Daniel came to the bakery and we spoke. I was informed at that time that they do not require signatures anymore, even though all their paperwork says signature must be included, but for purposes of closing the street, they considered me notified. I let Mr. Daniel know that the representative from DMA said to just use the handicapped spot, but pointed out there was no way for anyone to get to the parking space without doing an illegal 3-point turn and it was not really feasible for people to park there. As I was pulling out going home that evening, I saw that Garfield was also CLOSED at Church Street, so even though they told us to tell people to park there, you could not because the street was closed (seemingly much to the surprise of those involved).
Mr. Daniel and I walked the back alley behind our building that same day as CMA somehow thought the “solution” to not being able to get close to our business was up to have our customers drive up in the alley to do “pick up only”. I pointed out that it was in dire need of attention as driving through it (as we have to daily) would literally throw you around in the car due to all the potholes and extreme holes in what little pavement there is. While that has since been addressed (but still like driving through a mostly gravel alley) If we were to attempt that on a Friday our customers would not be able to come into the bakery, and would have to pre-order only. Again, FAR from an ideal situation.
The Sin-able Sweets Team