Fire at Sarkozy's Bakery brings community together to grieve a Kalamazoo landmark and legend
|Another view of Table One in 2008|
More than just a bakery or a business
Judy Sarkozy, not only baked wonderful European-style breads, but she has served as beacon of light for the people of Kalamazoo.
Judy welcomed all people to the bakery.
Judy hired people many businesses would skip over, and then she trained them to be responsible employees. She paid her staff more than the minimum wage and supplied them with health insurance. They worked hard for Judy and enjoyed making bread and serving customers.
Judy gathered Table One every Saturday morning at 10 where friends visited with each other and talked about the day's issues.
Judy initiated various community events including the popular New Year's Eve Fest that provides non-alcoholic family entertainment with singers, dancers, musicians, magicians, storytellers in downtown churches and establishments.
Judy has regularly donated her leftover baked goods to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission just down the street from her shop.
Actually, she did so many things for the community that the YWCA awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
While it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a leader who initiates a ways for people to gather, eat, celebrate and enjoy life. Judy Sarkozy has done that for Kalamazoo!
May God bless Judy as she faces this tragedy not alone, but with all of us. May we remember that the pain of this terrible loss to our community will not destroy us.
Brad Pines has a "long-overdue Valentine" to Judy, picture gallery of recent images taken at Sarkozy Bakery titled "Judy Sarkozy, We Love You."
More from the Gazette
Larry Bell, owner of Bell's Brewery discusses the loss. He worked at the bakery as a young man.
Monday morning Gazette editorial
...Sarkozy Bakery was about more than just baking bread and keeping us fat and happy. It was one of those unique treasures that we like to believe could have only been born and bred here, because of the people involved, the devotion of the owners and customers alike. Judy Sarkozy was an ardent advocate for downtown and the city. The customers were not just customers, they were fans and friends, and on Saturday mornings the bakery was famous for its coffee klatch, which gathered at the cafe tables to nibble and sip, talk about Kalamazoo and nurture friendships.
Whatever happens next for Judy Sarkozy and the bakery, we would like to say thank you for all the years of feeding us those delectable treats and nourishing our souls with your generosity of spirit and and an enduring sense of community. READ COMPLETE EDITORIAL HERE
Sentiments from Sarkozy's customers and friends
|Gorilla Gourmet on Oakland Drive put out a sign|
A Facebook page has been started called Save Sarkozy's. It is a community bulletin board featuring fond memories and sentiments about a tragedy that has touched the whole community. It's goals is to provide "a space to leave information about what we can do as a community to help Judy Sarkozy, the employees and their families who work there, and the bakery itself."
D&W Freshmarket weighed in on the grief at its Sarkozy bread counter. Store director Bill Micheals put up a poster inviting customers to write Judy a message. In just two days the poster was covered front and back and a new one was put up.
Here is Bill's personal message to Judy that he taped to the poster.
Photos on Monday morning of a very lonely street. A few passersby, one with a camera, checked out the building. Police have roped off the area and the fire marshal prohibits people from getting close to the building.
Renovation of the Rickman House into a condominium development was a prime place for an adjacent bakery. During construction, Judy had to let people know the bakery was still open.Offers pour in from Kalamazoo community while Sarkozys weigh whether to rebuild
It only took a couple days before the community pitched in to offer Judy Sarkozy help. Check out this wonderful story by Yvonne Zipp of the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Rob Peterson of DKI is working to coordinate the effort.
“I probably have at least a few dozen emails offering some form of assistance,” said Rob Peterson, business recruitment and retention director for Downtown Kalamazoo Inc., which offered to act as a contact for community members who wanted to support Ken and Judy Sarkozy. The emails range from “everything from ‘please let me know what I can do’ to ‘I have an oven she can use.’"