Benjamin Manea and Sharon Wiener say they have closed the doors on Walla Artisan Bakery for the final time. Steve Kidd/Western News

Benjamin Manea and Sharon Wiener say they have closed the doors on Walla Artisan Bakery for the final time. Steve Kidd/Western News

Famed Penticton bakery makes final decision to close

Walla Artisan Bakery closes doors

Walls Artisan Bakery has at last closed its doors.

In a note posted on their Walla Foods Facebook page, Benjamin Manea and Sharon Wiener announced their decision late yesterday.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to close the bakery as of today,” reads the note. “We have not been able to find someone to take over the bakery, which is a pity given the popularity and demand for the bread. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your friendship and years of patronage.”

The couple has been trying for months now to keep going after Manea was diagnosed with ALS early this year. There is no cure for ALS, and the disease is eventually fatal, attacking the motor neurons, and the brain loses its ability to control the muscles.

Related: Life takes an unpredictable turn

The couple had planned to close the bakery down in the spring but decided instead to search for a protege to learn Manea’s unique recipes and methods that produce bread, especially a Jewish rye that have become famous throughout the Okanagan and beyond.

“We’ve tried everything, we’ve tried it all,” said Wiener. After being featured on TV news recently, demand for the bread grew again, she explained, making the necessity of the decision to close even more unfortunate.

Wiener said there is some small hope they might still find a way to carry on, but she doesn’t know what the future holds.

“We can confirm we have closed the bakery. That is the truth at this moment. I don’t know how it will be for next week, but as of this moment the business is closed,” said Weiner.

Related: Walla Artisan Bakery & Cafe seeks protégé to continue business


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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