As it turned out, Elliott Yakush’s bread sales were too successful for his own good.
Elliott and his wife, Tasha, amiably sold Pane d’Amore bread and pastry out of a delivery truck without city permission for nearly two months until a member of the city’s planning department staff noticed cars were causing traffic jams around the Silver Star Trading Post’s parking lot located just north of City Hall.
The Port Townsend residents didn’t think they were doing anything wrong by selling food out of a delivery truck in front of the space that will become a market and bakery when the Lynwood Center renovation is completed next February.
They had a city license and Kitsap County Health Department approval for the store, but they didn’t think to notify the city that they would be selling their wares from a mobile unit. They had sold bread from the truck during the Taste of Lynwood in September and assumed it was not against city code. They even mentioned their intentions in an October press release.
As Yakush put it: “We’ve had a breadmobile in Port Townsend (home of Pane d’Amore bakery) and we just didn’t think there would be a problem here. Now they say our business license would have been rejected if they had known we were going to do mobile sales.”
No one at City Hall was aware of the breadmobile, said Code Enforcement Officer Meghan McKnight, until the Yakushes were asked by one of the Trading Post’s owners if they also wanted to use their parking lot off Madison Avenue.
Yakush agreed since it wasn’t unusual to sell out the 70 or so loaves they brought to Lynwood between 12-4 p.m. each Monday. Sure enough, hungry shoppers soon converged on the site in such numbers that the busy street became a traffic hazard during the hours the truck was in business, according to McKnight.
“They (the Yakushes) were not responsible for other people’s reckless driving,” McKnight said this week, “but the parking wasn’t adequate and cars were backing out into Madison. It wasn’t a safe situation. I think there was confusion on their part, but it’s definitely against code without them going through a site plan and design review application process.”
That would be a lengthy, expensive process and not worth the effort since the Lynwood store will be opening in less than two months.
Yakush stopped selling at the Trading Post about two weeks ago after a visit with city planning officials, but showed up as usual last Monday at Lynwood. This time, however, he had to tell customers the city had shut him down.
“We did it not so much to make money,” Yakush said, “but to market ourselves in the neighborhood. We’ve done that.”
Indeed. Some of his clients were quite upset this week to learn they would have to wait to get their next Pane d’Amore treat.
Yakush, who is the son of Linda Yakush, co-founder/owner of the artisan bakery with Frank d’Amore, left an advertising job in New York City to help expand the business in the west Puget Sound area.
He and his wife will be living in one of Lynwood Center’s apartments when the renovation is finished.
The new business will offer a variety of breads, pasteries and specialty foods, including cheeses, deli items and local produce.
Until then, Yakush will continue delivering his wares once a week to Real Foods Market and the Treehouse Cafe. Even McKnight is looking forward to the store’s opening.
“I’m very excited about having a bakery like that here,” she said. “I understand that it’s wonderful.”