New Owners of LA's Most Important Jewish Bakery Work to Carry on a 75 Year Legacy

© Wonho Frank Lee Doug Weinstein inside of Diamond Bakery.

In many observant Jewish homes, there are mezuzahs affixed to door frames. The narrow, ornate cylinders contain a small prayer scroll, and are touched upon entering or leaving. This signifies both the calming presence of faith and the journey across a threshold, a moment spent between two spaces.

At 75-year-old Jewish institution Diamond Bakery on Fairfax, new owners Doug Weinstein and Brian Hollander are at their own kind of transition point. The friends and business partners are reckoning with the everyday demands of running a bakery and the need to modernize an aging operation, without alienating long-time clientele in a community that has seen so much upheaval.

“We can’t let this die,” says Hollander, sitting inside the long, bright bakery as customers pass through in clusters, picking up slices of honey cake, rich, chocolatey babka, and boxes of Polish rugelach, filled with dabs of apricot and raspberry jam. “This is a legacy bakery. It’s a landmark.”

Indeed it is. Diamond may be the most important Jewish bakery in Southern California. First opened in 1946 and situated directly on Fairfax (a Jewish neighborhood newly rich with restaurants and streetwear labels), the bakery itself supplies bagels, breads, and more to some of greater LA’s most prominent Jewish delis and synagogues, including Nate ‘n Al’s, the now-closed Greenblatt’s, and the historic Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which dates to the 1860’s in Los Angeles. The place is mobbed during key holidays on the Jewish calendar, and has a steady clientele of regulars who insist on Diamond’s challah, mandelbrodt, and other staple sweets unique to the Jewish diaspora.

“The bakery really has this great history,” says Hollander, who met Weinstein while volunteering to prepare weekly challah loaves at a Jewish organization in Santa Barbara. “It was run by Holocaust survivors for 50 years.”

© Provided by Eater At work in the bakery.
© Provided by Eater Raymond Luna.
© Provided by Eater Carlos Rodriguez.

Hollander, an East Coast transplant, had never been to Diamond Bakery before a whirlwind road trip from Santa Barbara in February with Weinstein, who plotted stops at well-known Jewish institutions like Canter’s up the street. Weinstein, a former Century Plaza Hotel pastry apprentice and artisan baker, grew up in greater Los Angeles; the memory of Diamond, the faith that it would always be there, called him back. They found a business on the brink.

After decades of service, the Lottman and Rubenstein families that had run the bakery stepped away in early 2020, leaving Diamond as a kind of worker-owned cooperative in limbo, weighed down by an aging building, a summer of political unrest, and the crushing lockdowns that kept wholesale clients and customers away. Workers and co-owners Alexes and Raymond Luna eventually turned to a crowdfunding effort to attempt to remain solvent.

“We went to the original owners to get their blessing. We wanted them to know that we care about the history and legacy of this place.”

“[Employee] Raida Shieban told me they were about to close if they couldn’t figure something out,” says Weinstein of his February trip. “I called over to Brian and said ‘Hey, you got any money? Want to buy a bakery?’” A new ownership deal wrapped within months.

“If it wasn’t for Raymond and Raida and Maggie and Carlos and Guillermo and the whole crew saying ‘We’re going to continue working’… Without them, there would be no more Diamond Bakery,” says Weinstein. “Though we are stepping in at a crucial moment, if it wasn’t for them I would have come down here on that trip and I would have been heartbroken that it was closed.”

Together, Hollander and Weinstein have become stewards of Diamond Bakery, largely eschewing the ownership title in favor of a longer view. “People say to me, ‘Oh, you’re the new owner,’” says Weinstein. “I just pay the bills. It’s a community thing, I’m just responsible for keeping it going.” So too are the Raymonds and Raidas of the restaurant. Hollander and Weinstein’s new business model now includes shares set aside for employees, with funds from those shares paying out bonuses and retirement packages. They’ve also given everyone a raise. “We didn’t have it nearly as hard as they had it for a year,” says Weinstein. “I want them to know that we appreciate them.”

© Provided by Eater Doug Weinstein loads the oven.

Next up: How to shepherd Diamond Bakery towards a prosperous future that integrates customers old and new. The shop itself has gotten some updates, and there are ongoing discussions about what to keep (and what to lose) from the bakery’s pastry cases.

“How do we maintain the tradition, but then start adding stuff so that young people who have no idea what Jewish baking is will see something tasty and familiar,” asks Weinstein.

“It’s both an honor and it’s terrifying,” says Hollander of this doorway moment, caught between worlds old and new. “We went to the original owners to get their blessing. We wanted them to know that we care about the history and legacy of this place. We also need to give this place the kind of tune up that will make it successful today, in this neighborhood.”

Future plans include pop-ups, new kosher certification, some needed renovations, a slew of family-friendly events, and a renewed bagel program, ideally led by a young, upstart baker. “We need to train the next generation of lifelong, committed bakers,” says Weinstein. “We’re eager to give them an opportunity to express their creativity, to give them a platform.” They’re also plotting a non-profit to connect to new, socially-minded customers; the focus will vary, but will include things like a training track where people with disabilities can learn on the job.

Hollander and Weinstein continue to rely on faith, and the collective power of their employees, to guide them over this current threshold, but they see plenty of sunshine ahead. Plus, Weinstein says, they’ve got an unbeatable ally at their side: “We have the brand: Diamond. It’s the pinnacle. We just need to live up to the name and the quality that people expect.”

© Provided by Eater
© Provided by Eater Apricot and raspberry rugelach.
© Provided by Eater
© Provided by Eater
© Provided by Eater Treats on the way.
© Provided by Eater Apricot and raspberry rugelach.
© Provided by Eater Cooling racks.
© Provided by Eater Old scales for weighing dough.
© Provided by Eater Skylight scenes.
© Provided by Eater Waiting at the Diamond Bakery counter.
© Provided by Eater Scanning the options.
© Provided by Eater Employee Maggie Ballesteros.
© Provided by Eater Freshly sliced rye bread.
© Provided by Eater An array of treats.
© Provided by Eater Muffins and more.
© Provided by Eater Freshly made bagels.
© Provided by Eater
© Provided by Eater Brian Hollander, Doug Weinstein, Raymond Luna, Maggie Ballesteros, and Alexes Luna.
© Provided by Eater

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

A Timeline Of The Kylie Padilla, Aljur Abrenica, And AJ Raval Relationship Drama

© Provided by Cosmopolitan Philippines Aljur Abrenica and Kylie Padilla seemed to be doing well after their separation in April 2021. ICYMI, the two got married in December 2018 and ... Read more »

Lito Atienza defends Manny Pacquiao against Jayke Joson's allegations

© Provided by PEP.ph Ipinagtanggol ni Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza si Senator Manny Pacquiao laban sa mga alegasyon ng dating aide ng Pambansang Kamao na si Jayke Joson. Kakandidatong ... Read more »

After Nonito Donaire, Probellum signs Donnie Nietes

Photo: Donnie Nietes/IG Newly established promotional outfit Probellum has signed another notable Filipino boxer in former four-division champion Donnie Nietes. Nietes, 39, joins Nonito Donaire Jr. in the stable that ... Read more »

Kylie Padilla's cousin lashes back at Aljur Abrenica for his "lies"

© Provided by PEP.ph Binuweltahan ng isang netizen, na pinsan umano ni Kylie Padilla, ang aktor at estranged husband ng aktres na si Aljur Abrenica. Sa mga nagsilabasang screenshots sa ... Read more »

Lito Atienza supports Kuya Kim's decision to leave ABS-CBN: "As a professional, tama yung desisyon ni Kim, to survive."

© Provided by PEP.ph Nagbigay ng pahayag si Buhay Party-list Representative Lito Atienza sa desisyon ng anak niyang si Kim Atienza na lumipat sa GMA-7 mula sa ABS-CBN. Nag-usap daw ... Read more »

Palace insists law needed to make COVID-19 jab a requirement for employees

— Malacañang on Thursday maintained that a law is needed to make vaccination against COVID-19 a requirement for employees. “Kinakailangan ng batas para ipagbawal ang pagha-hire ng non-vaccinated individuals [We ... Read more »

Gamers Upset As Leaked Video Shows WalMart's Secret Stash Of Thousands of PlayStation 5 Consoles

© Provided by Geek Culture A TikTok video has gone viral, and it’s because of the huge stockpile of PlayStation 5 consoles (PS5) being shown, which has been in huge ... Read more »

‘Veneno,' ‘Paquita Salas' Creators Los Javis Launch New Independent Global Production Label, Suma Content (EXCLUSIVE)

© Credit: Sergio Albert for Suma Content Spanish showrunners Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi, popularly known as Los Javis, are launching Suma Content, a new, Madrid-based but internationally operating independent ... Read more »

American comedienne-writer Kylie Brakeman has a funny reaction to Kylie Padilla-Aljur Abrenica marital issue

© Provided by PEP.ph Nakarating na hanggang sa Amerika ang kontrobersiyang likha ng hiwalayan ng Pinoy celebrity ex-couple na sina Aljur Abrenica at Kylie Padilla. Ngayong Huwebes, October 21, ibinahagi ng ... Read more »

Jamie Redknapp and Frida pictured leaving a hotel together the morning after their wedding

Jamie Redknapp and his heavily pregnant wife Frida were spotted leaving a plush London hotel the morning after their wedding. The couple tied the knot at the Chelsea Registry Office ... Read more »

Kourtney Kardashian's ex Scott Disick 'refuses' to be in same room as Travis Barker

Kourtney Kardashian’s ex Scott Disick reportedly ‘refuses’ to be in the same room as Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The father of Kourtney’s three children apparently feels “like an outcast” since ... Read more »

Kourtney Kardashian shares more intimate snaps from lavish engagement

Kourtney Kardashian appears to still be on cloud nine after her lavish engagement on Sunday. The 42-year-old has shared more snaps of the beautiful moment she said “yes” to drummer ... Read more »

Mary Berry receives damehood

© Provided by Cover Media Mary Berry Mary Berry was officially made a Dame at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday. The former Great British Bake-Off judge was ... Read more »

Jamie Lee Curtis opens up about her daughter Ruby coming out as transgender

© Provided by Cover Media Jamie Lee Curtis Jamie Lee Curtis is introducing the world to her daughter, Ruby. In July, the Halloween Kills star revealed that the youngest of ... Read more »

Chris Brown praises Kyrie Irving for vaccine refusal

© Provided by Cover Media Chris Brown Chris Brown is supporting basketball star Kyrie Irving for refusing the Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this week, it was announced that the Brooklyn Nets ... Read more »

Nine Ayurvedic guidelines for a healthy and happy gut

© Provided by The Indian Express Mindful eating is very important for a healthy body and mind. With digestive troubles becoming increasingly common and frequent, it becomes essential to follow ... Read more »

Oozing clots during periods? Here's when you MUST see a gynae

Is your sanitary napkin or menstrual cup laden with blood clots, all of a sudden? Do you see more menstrual clots when you pee, and is it more than the ... Read more »

Perth's first vegan fish and chip shop Nuthin Fyshy opens in Leederville

‘I can’t believe it’s not a real prawn!” The owners of Perth’s first vegan fish and chip shop are getting used to hearing this. Kylie Pogorzelski and Erin O’Brien opened ... Read more »

How to get Flash Drone tactical equipment in Call of Duty: Mobile Season 9

© Provided by GamePur Call of Duty: Mobile Season 9 update has added many new features to the game, including Halloween Standoff, and Hovec Sawmill maps, Undead Siege, and 10v10 Pumpkin ... Read more »

KOKO reopening: Iconic Camden venue unveils relaunch plans after £70m revamp

After six years of planning and three years of restoration — as well as the setbacks of a building fire, vast water damage and, of course, a global pandemic — ... Read more »

Minors aged 17 and below allowed to stroll in Quezon Memorial Circle

Quezon City Memorial Circle QC Circle Quezon City Circle Quezon City thumbnail QC thumbnail The Quezon City government announced on Wednesday that minors aged 17 and below are now allowed ... Read more »

Atienza: Makabayan to support Pacquiao in Eleksyon 2022; Bayan Muna nominee denies

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Feb. 18, 2020. Photo: Joviland Rita House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza on Thursday said the Makabayan Coalition would support him and presidential aspirant and ... Read more »

Cusi to Pacquiao: File charges over 'tongpats' allegations on electricity bills

cusi composite Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Thursday urged Senator Manny Pacquiao to bring his allegations on the alleged irregularities in Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) to ... Read more »

Maura Higgins hints at reunion with Strictly's Giovanni after snap of two champagne glasses

Maura Higgins has sent fans into a frenzy after sharing a snap of two champagne glasses on social media. The Irish beauty, 30, and Strictly star Giovanni Pernice, 31, split ... Read more »

Tawny Kitaen cause of death confirmed as heart disease five months after she died at 59

The autopsy of Tawny Kitaen has revealed that the eighties star died of heart disease. Tawny died on May 7 at the age of 59. The actress, who was also ... Read more »

Rise Against Hunger PH rolls out mobile kitchen to feed families in NCR

International relief organization Rise Against Hunger Philippines launched a mobile kitchen jeepney in support of the private sector program, Kain Tayo Pilipinas, mobilizing added resources to alleviate hunger in the ... Read more »

Richard Yap, sinabing 5 beses siyang binangungot noong nagka-COVID siya

Richard Yap shares ordeal in his fight against COVID-19 Inilahad ni Richard Yap na hindi isa, kundi limang beses siyang lumaban sa bangungot na tila gusto siyang patayin nang magpositibo ... Read more »

ABS-CBN News surpasses 13 million subscribers on YouTube, nearly 23 million followers on facebook

ABS-CBN continues its digital expansion with more subscribers across multiple platforms. ABS-CBN News, its main news channel on YouTube, recently hit a new milestone as its subscribers grew to 13 ... Read more »

TNT veteran Kelly Williams released from hospital, but still awaiting further assessment

Photo: PBA Images TNT Tropang Giga head coach Chot Reyes shared that Kelly Williams has been released from the hospital after the seasoned big man hurt his back in the ... Read more »

The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Thursday, October 21

© Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images Hello, everyone! Here’s a quote from USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn on one FIFA talking point justifying its plan for ... Read more »

Clean Sheet King Christensen scores historic first ever Chelsea goal

© Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images Before last night’s game, Malmö FF manager and Danish footballing legend Jon Dahl Tomasson sang the praises of Chelsea center back ... Read more »

FIRB nixes change to BPO work rules

© Provided by BusinessWorld The Contact Center Association of the Philippines expects 2.7-3.2% revenue growth rate from 2020 to 2022, based on an Everest Group report. — COURTESY OF CONTACT ... Read more »

Kylie Padilla: '#passdivorcebill'

HOURS after her ex-husband Aljur Abrenica’s Facebook post about their split went viral, Kylie Padilla took to her social media pages to respond. On Instagram, Padilla posted a quote from ... Read more »

Young Thug recorded Day Before with Mac Miller the day before he died

© Bang Showbiz Mac Miller Young Thug recorded ‘Day Before’ in the studio with Mac Miller the day before he died. The late rapper tragically passed away on September 7, ... Read more »

Salma Hayek: It's very humbling landing a superhero role in my 50s

© Bang Showbiz Salma Hayek in Eternals Salma Hayek says it was “very humbling” landing a role as a superhero in her 50s. The ‘Eternals’ star – who plays spiritual ... Read more »

Biggest break! Faith Da Silva shares her preparation for her first lead role in a teleserye.

On October 15, Kapuso artist Faith Da Silva shared her preparation for her “biggest break” and her first lead role in a teleserye in Las Hermanas.  © Provided by LionhearTV ... Read more »

Ariana Grande had bronchitis for almost half of her 2019 world tour

© Bang Showbiz Ariana Grande Ariana Grande was sick with bronchitis for four months of her ‘Sweetener World Tour’. The ‘Thank U, Next’ hitmaker embarked on the extensive global jaunt ... Read more »

Ashley Tisdale Reveals Disney "Made" Her Change These Song Lyrics During HSM Tour

Ashley Tisdale says she was asked to switch up her language as she was bopping to the top. On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the 36-year-old actress posted footage to TikTok that ... Read more »

MMDA to riders: Stay out of the bus lane because it's dangerous

© Provided by Top Gear Philippines Keeping public transport flowing in a smooth fashion isn’t the only reason the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is trying to keep motorbikes out ... Read more »

Celebrities mistook Alex Gonzaga's miscarriage post as good news

It seemed that some celebrities mistook Alex Gonzaga’s Instagram post about her miscarriage on Sunday, October 17, as a good news. © Provided by LionhearTV Some netizens were astonished as ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic