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‘A classic staple’: employees, neighbors commemorate Wayland Bakery following closure

Wayland Square looks back on 94-year community staple, ahead to future business vibrancy

After nearly a century in operation, Wayland Bakery closed Dec. 31. The shop, which opened in 1928, stood on Wayland Avenue, serving freshly baked goods and hot lunches to both the Brown and East Side communities.

While activity at the bakery has ceased, the owners have shifted focus to their other business, Zaccagnini’s Pastry Shoppe in Pawtucket. The owners declined to comment on Wayland Bakery’s closing, but their daughter Juliana Rodriguez wrote about her experience with the bakery in a message to The Herald.

Wayland Bakery sought to be a “community-based establishment” that “would provide the freshest baked goods that remind you of home,” Rodriguez wrote. “What started off as a family-run bakery turned into a huge staple in the East Side community.”

The bakery continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the “loss of customers, loss of profit and increase of supply costs,” she wrote. 


But the bakery’s closing doesn’t mean Wayland’s favorite delights are gone. “The memory of Wayland Bakery will remain alive,” with the same pastries being sold at Zaccagnini’s, Rodriguez wrote. “We encourage everyone to visit Zaccagnini’s, where everything is created with the same attention and love” and Wayland Bakery’s “sense of home” still permeates, she added.

The “iconic” bakery prepared former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s wedding cake, which attracted people to snap pictures of their shop sign, said Jessica Leach, owner of Opt Eyewear Boutique, a family-owned optical shop located next to Wayland Bakery.

The bakery’s closing came as a shock to Leach, who said she was not “notified” about the closing of the bakery until “finding out on the news.” 

“It’s going to be strange without (the bakery) there,” she said.

Other business owners in Wayland Square expressed their sadness over the loss of the bakery but remain optimistic about the future and Zaccagnini’s continued offerings.

McBride’s Pub, another long-established restaurant in Wayland Square, featured Wayland Bakery’s apple pie on their menu. “We would order (one-to-two) pies weekly and pick them up,” wrote Manager Jennifer Monastesse in an email to The Herald. “Thankfully (Zaccagnini’s) is delivering pies to us so we will be able to serve the same product going forward.”

Monastesse recalled how she “loved grabbing their lunch deal of a sandwich, bag of chips and a cookie.”

“We will miss them but are excited to be able to support” Zaccagnini’s, she wrote.

“You felt like home when you walked in the doors. No (digital sales) systems, handwritten tickets and an old-school cash register,” Monastesse added. “Nothing else can replace” the bakery.

Sergio Mendoza, owner of Madrid European Bakery and Patisserie, is a newcomer to Wayland Square but knows that Wayland Bakery was “well-liked” with “loyal fans.” The closing “surprised and saddened” him, Mendoza wrote in an email to The Herald. 


“Whenever a bakery is open for as long as Wayland Bakery was, having its doors close signals the end of an era,” Mendoza wrote. The shop “symbolized the loss of a classic staple of Wayland Square.”

But despite the closing of the bakery, Mendoza remains optimistic about the future of Wayland Square. “With the series of vibrant bakeries and restaurants that are newly open,” he wrote, “we trust that Wayland Square will continue to have a lot to offer the community.”

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