By Megan Wehring
DRIPPING SPRINGS – For years, Yauss Berenji and Sascha Biesi have welcomed customers to their bakery as if they were opening their home to them.
But due to rent inflation and the lack of a labor force, the co-owners of Skull and Cakebones made the difficult decision to close the Dripping Springs location.
“Our landlord was trying to increase our rent heavily and that’s just not sustainable for us. The second issue is the lack of a labor force in this area,” Berenji said. “We are residents of Dripping Springs and we love it out here. When we moved out here seven years ago, we knew that it was going to be a little bit tougher than being in Austin to get labor out here. But progressively, it’s gotten harder and then the pandemic exacerbated that.”
In 2013, Skull and Cakebones started out as a wholesale bakery selling cupcakes and then the retail storefront component was added in 2016.
“Opening a retail storefront was really exciting because we had all of these other skills that we wanted to show off and these recipes that lived in my head. We really wanted to get them out there,” Biesi said.
Biesi said they love all of their customers that have supported their business from the very beginning, and those who have just recently walked through the doors.
“We feel really sad leaving them. We love all of our customers. Everyone that comes in, it’s like we are welcoming them to our house. It kind of feels like because we are short-staffed, there are so few of us but it really does feel like every customer that comes in is just walking into our house and we are serving them,” Biesi said. “We love everyone equally: the new customers and the old customers. We feel so grateful for everyone who comes in our doors.”
Berenji shared that the goal of opening the bakery was to turn it into a “safe space for people of all walks of life.”
This is not the end for Skull and Cakebones; Berenji said that they are working with a local bakery to help them produce their wholesale products. While plans are still in progress, the co-owners are looking at a retail location in South Austin.
“We hope to make an announcement pretty early on in 2023 about ways we can connect with our customers,” Berenji concluded.
The Dripping Springs bakery, located at 3991 E Hwy 290 Unit A, will be closing on Sunday, Dec. 18.