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In the past few months, we’ve become all too familiar with seeing beloved local businesses close. The economic impact of the ongoing pandemic is changing the landscape of our city and causing hardship for many, especially those in the hospitality industry. One of the latest victims? Furama Cake & Desserts Garden, a Chinatown mainstay for 30 years, shuttered its doors on September 29th, due to what the owner described as “difficult circumstances.”
The closure of the Spadina bakery, a popular gathering place, was met with shock and sadness by the community. For employees, some who have worked at Furama since its early days, the closure means unemployment and uncertainty at what the future may hold.
To help ease the burden of those affected, a GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for former Furama employees. Started by the wife of a 25-year Furama veteran, the GoFundMe campaign has now raised almost %50 of its $18,000 goal, thanks to 200 donors.
To spread the word, local advocacy group Friends of Chinatown Toronto has taken to social media to help support the longstanding bakery.
“If you are able to, consider donating to [Furama’s] GoFundMe page, where all proceeds will go towards employees affected by this closure. Leave a note about what the bakery meant to you," they ask their followers.
More than the countless buns, tarts, pastries and cups of tea Furama provided, it seems that what the community will miss most is the comfort of a familiar space and familiar faces.
“We’ve watched Chinatown [go] through many changes and are thankful to all our loyal customers who’ve supported us all this time,” said the owners. “We’re sad to go and will miss you all.” As Friends of Chinatown says, now is the time to “show them some love”.