Nov 13 2011
Cakes, cookies, breads and doughnuts are the typical fare at New Deluxe Polish Bakery & Delicatessen, but it was the paczki that brought the most business each year. But today, after 100 years in Detroit, New Deluxe will close permanently, apparently to make way for the next Halal (Islamic approved) store.
Detroit Free Press (H/T Rob E) It is one of many traditionally Polish businesses in the area to close in recent years because of the economy, a changing neighborhood, growing increasingly Islamic every year, with an influx of immigrants from the Middle East and South Asia.
“The neighborhood has different nationalities and many of them don’t eat stuff like this,” said bakery owner Rose Gjorgjeski, 55, pointing to her breads and other sweets. “We thought about doing one more holiday, but it wouldn’t help.” Michelle Gjorgjeski stood behind the counter of New Deluxe Polish Bakery & Delicatessen on Tuesday as patrons dropped in to pick up their final orders and to say good-bye.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Gjorgjeski, 31, who grew up around the bakery after her mother, Rose Gjorgjeski, began working there in 1979. “She was pregnant with me when she started here.” The bakery will close its doors today, though the Gjorgjeskis said they plan to keep the building.
As Michelle Gjorgjeski bagged up bread, packed doughnuts and tied string around boxes filled with cookies, Rose Gjorgjeski spoke to customers — many of whom were regulars. Among them was Elizabeth Kowalski, 87, who stocked up on breads, cookies and doughnuts in anticipation of the closing. “It’s hard to believe this place won’t be here,” said Kowalski. “I’ve been coming here for 70 years, at least.”
Since 1986, Gjorgjeski and her husband have owned the bakery after buying it from one of his cousins. Over the years, New Deluxe sold 15 kinds of doughnuts, 12 kinds of fresh bread, paczki and a variety of cookies including kolachkis and angel wings. Although the bakery is on the Detroit side of the border shared with Hamtramck, it was a part of the neighborhood once populated with Polish immigrants.
The landscape of the neighborhood began to change (with the influx of ragheads and bagheads), as well as the needs of her customers. It was that realization, Gjorgjeski said, that also prompted her decision to close the bakery.
New Deluxe bakery joins a number of traditionally Polish venues that have closed in and around Hamtramck in recent years.
“No one ethnicity is the dominant demographic anymore,” but immigrants from the Middle East and South Asia dominate the area. said Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski. According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, the Polish-American population in Hamtramck is less than 30%. Polish establishments, including Under the Eagle Restaurant, have closed this year.