On March 15, 2016, The team at Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont is taking a rare day off from baking: The neighborhood shop is temporarily shuttered after an explosion in its kitchen early that morning.
Around 2:45 a.m., “I was right in front of [a big stack of pans] when the gas explosion from the oven happened,” owner Paul Klemm told WCVB . “I couldn’t feel anything, but I could feel the energy all around me.”
Ohlin’s celebrated its centennial anniversary last year. The Klemm family has owned the Cushing Square bakery since 1967; they also owned and operated other local bakeries, including Lyndell’s in Somerville. Ohlin’s typically opens seven days a week, 365 days a year, with fresh-baked breads, pastries, cakes, and some of the area’s best doughnuts.
Owners Paul and Marybeth Klemm shared an update on Facebook on July 19, 2016, telling their fans they recently found out insurance won’t cover the full cost of the necessary repairs.
The update comes after the Klemms, whose family has owned the 101-year-old bakery since 1967, learned their landlord plans to begin repairs on the building “soon.” But the business owners themselves would be responsible for upgrading the retail store into an up-to-code bakery.
A Belmont native and former Ohlin’s Bakery employee has launched a $50,000 GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the doughnut shop.
“Ohlin’s is just such a staple of Belmont,” says Jacqueline Davis, the fundraiser organizer, who worked at the bakery when she was a teenager. “If they can’t get up and running, that’s just a huge detriment to the community.”
Davis now owns her own small business advisory company, Virtually Here, so she is familiar with the crowdfunding process, she says. The Klemms did not know Davis planned to fundraise for them until they saw the online page this afternoon. They are touched by her efforts, Marybeth Klemm says via Facebook message.
“That was so nice of her! We are feeling so much love from everyone right now! We greatly appreciate how much everyone cares!” she says.
The fundraising goal is a best guess on Davis’s part.
“In less than 24 hours we have raised over $6900!” – Jacqui Davis
“We still do not know how much everything will cost,” Klemm says. “When we hire the contractor to do the floors, walls, plumbing, electrical we will know more.”