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Double batch of bad news: Two bakery stores close within one week in Detroit Lakes

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Bakery Outlet general manager Melanie Schur says the bakery in Detroit Lakes will close at the end of the week, just like many across the nation. (Emily Driscoll / Tribune) 2 / 5
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Lakes Country Bakery closed its doors after owner Lauren Zima says it just wasn't profitable. (Emily Driscoll / Tribune) 5 / 5

Lake Country Bakery and Master Bakery Outlet will close by the end of this week. They just weren't profitable anymore, according to shop owners and managers.

The former is already closed, and Master Bakery Outlet will remain open until Friday, June 15, with discounted products.

Bakery Outlet general manager Melanie Schur and Lake Country Bakery owner Lauren Zima expressed dismay at the downfall of their shops that are both closing for good.

Customers shuffled in and out of the discount bakery outlet on Tuesday. One of them told Schur, "thank you. We're going to miss you," before walking out the door.

At the mention of regulars, Schur's eyes welled with tears. "The store has been here for 25 years. I have worked here for 10 years," she said. "I just got a phone call one day telling me that in two weeks I have to be done."

Master Bakery Outlets are dropping like flies. In the past few years there have been closures in Grand Forks, Fargo, Alexandria and several others nationwide.

Schur attributes the closures to the company's switchover from Sara Lee to Bimbo Bakeries USA.

"They didn't allow us to fill the empty space on the shelves with new product. People would walk in, see the bare store and head right back out the door," she said.

The store will close, and now the leftover and nearly expired product spillover will go straight to the dumpster.

"It's easier to pay waste management than to pay me," she said. "In one year, we've lost 60 percent of business."

Schur is disappointed and has decided to pursue a career outside of retail after the heavy loss.

"I cried for weeks," she said. "I'm done now."

She looks forward to a summer off and plans to return to the work force this fall.

Lauren Zima, owner of the Nines in downtown Detroit Lakes, said she and her husband purchased the bakery downtown when they heard of its closing a year ago.

They didn't have high hopes to make a profit, they just wanted to keep it open. They ended up being faced with unforeseen costs and changes in federal regulations.

"We had to hire nine people to do all the work that the previous owners did all by themselves," Zima said.

The shifts were rigorous. Beginning at 1 a.m. and lasting beyond sunrise, it was a tough position to fill.

"We're heartbroken about it because it's been a business for a century, but we have to do what's best for our family," Zima said.

She said the new owners plan to turn it into a retail space.