Montrose’s Acadian Bakery, a longtime stalwart and source for many a Houstonians’ king cakes, has closed after more than 40 years.
The bakery’s newest owner posted to Instagram on March 18 that the shop would be closing temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That closure is now permanent, according to leasing agent Jonathan Kagan.
On Tuesday morning, construction workers were seen working inside the building, at 604 W Alabama Street, and a large dumpster full of demolished building material was parked outside. The building’s distinctive signage and murals had also been removed.
Back in November, Outsmart Magazine reported that Acadian’s then-owner, Sandy Bubbert, was selling the shop after 40 years. Bubbert, who is in her mid-70s, started as an employee of the bakery, where she helped add lunch items like the much-loved hamburger. In return, the two owners, a pair of gay men from New Orleans, taught Bubbert how to bake. In 1979, she bought the bakery from its owners when they moved back to Louisiana.
Over more than four decades, the bakery became a mainstay in the Montrose. Outsmart chronicled Bubbert and the bakery’s longtime advocacy of the gay community. In the interview, Bubbert recalled the loss the community suffered during the AIDS epidemic — especially Montrose’s hospitality industry, which included many gay-friendly nightclubs, bars and restaurants. “We had a lot of talent in our community, but we lost so much of it to AIDS,” she said. In 1997, the bakery suffered another loss. An electrical fire on Thanksgiving Day destroyed the shop, taking with it Bubbert’s family cookbooks.
In addition to its beloved king cakes, the bakery was well-known for other special occasion pastries. In 1989, Bubbert baked a giant cake shaped like the Texas State Capital — large enough to serve 500 people — for the inauguration of Governor Ann Richards, sleeping in her truck overnight in Austin to watch over the dessert before delivering it. A reviewer on Facebook wrote that when he worked at the White House, Houstonian and former First Lady Barbara Bush would frequently request cakes from Acadian Bakery. In addition, Bubbert’s wedding cakes were highly sought after throughout Texas.
The bakery’s new owner, a woman named Madeleine, posted an introduction to Instagram on January 11, saying she was excited to be taking over the historical business. Just two months later, the bakery was forced to close due to Houston’s stay at home order. Leasing agent Jonathan Kagan told Eater that in part due to the coronavirus, the takeover of the bakery just didn’t pan out as expected.
As of press time, neither the new owner nor Sandy Bubbert had responded to a request for comment.