The Baldwin community pulled together last month to save a staple of its community -- the Arnold Bakers Bread Outlet Store at 759 Foxhurst Rd.
Don Hubbard opened the store 27 years ago, but in late December he received notice from his supplier, the Horsham, Pa.-based Bimbo Bread Co., that it would no longer supply Arnold Bakers breads or Thomas’ English Muffins to independent stores.
“It was a really stressful month for me,” Hubbard said.
The lost product made up 60 percent of his business, and Hubbard said without it he thought he’d have to close.
“People were asking 'How can we stop this from happening?' ” Hubbard said.
He responded by handing out Bimbo's toll-free number so customers could complain to the supplier. A couple of his customers also set up Facebook pages with the phone number that encouraged customers to call up and complain -- and it worked.
On Jan. 18, Bimbo told Hubbard it would continue to supply his store. Within two weeks he had restocked his shelves -- they had dwindled to being 80 percent bare during the ordeal -- and the store is now back to normal.
Diedre Stammers, who owns Glory Beezzz, a thrift shop, gift shop and community center in Baldwin, said she called the company to ask them to leave Arnold’s open.
“I have lived in the area for 15 years,” she said. “It’s a fixture of the neighborhood.”
Hubbard attributes the success of his campaign to stay in business to the Baldwin community.
“I couldn’t have nicer customers,” he said. “It’s more than just business; it’s friends we have made over the years.”