Widoff’s Bakery Begging For Money Proves That GoFundMe’s Have Gone Way Too Far

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Turtleboy Sports believes in supporting local businesses. But there’s a big difference between a business and a charity. That’s where this article written by Samantha Allen, which we will now link and quote in italics, comes into play:

Widoff’s Bakery shut down voluntarily for three days last weekend to address problems found by city and state health inspectors. The business, founded in 1907, has launched a $100,000 GoFundMe campaign to raise money to fix its roof and buy new equipment.

John Hill, spokesman for the city manager’s office, confirmed that the city inspector found fault with the roof of the business at 129 Water St., as well as “general unsanitary conditions … and an insect infestation.” The city’s food protection unit, working with state Department of Public Health inspectors, agreed existing conditions at the establishment warranted closure for cleaning.

Inside the bakery Thursday afternoon, Mr. Ducas, 60, of Sutton, said the business has been struggling for some time. His children set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise $100,000 in the next seven days. The Ducas children wrote it was a dire situation that could mean the end of the business. Mr. Ducas said he doesn’t believe things are as dramatic as that, although he said the future of the business is unknown.

“We’ll try to raise the money, do what we can to make these repairs in July,” he said. “…From there, it’s a question mark.”


Mr. Hill said the city director of housing and health inspections, Amanda M. Wilson, said the owner has been cooperative and is “working to correct all outstanding violations.” The main problem has been years-long deferred maintenance of the roof, she reported; Mr. Ducas keeps buckets under it when it rains. The city reports the business also voluntarily shut down over the winter because of the leaky roof.

He believes the trend of people going to grocery stores for fresh-baked goods instead of to small shops, and a recent hike in electricity costs, have led to tough times for Widoff’s. Mr. Ducas noted that although the bakery has downsized operations, it still operates out of the large building.


“This business has been around, serving people for over 100 years. I just can’t imagine it not being there,” she said. “People come to get their bulkies for the holidays. That’s a tradition for a lot of people.”


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What is this – Goldman Sachs? Look, I love me some Widoff’s bakery.We’ve been eating Widoff’s bulky rolls in the Turtleboy household every Sunday since the beginning of time. Best bakery in the city as far as I’ve concerned. I know some of you will say that the Crowne Bakery is the best, but I went there once and everyone was 95 years old, so the line didn’t move. I felt like I was waiting in line for a prescription at the CVS pharmacy.

But with that said, their business is none of my business. You got a leaky roof and insects running wild? Yea, you should probably fix that. Does that suck? Yup. Is it gonna cost you a lot of money? Yup. Is that oppressive government regulation as some people are calling it? Nope. It’s not “big government” because a customer doesn’t get a side order of cockroaches with their bagels.

I’ve just about had enough with all these GoFundMe pages. Hey Widoff’s I got a GoFundMe for ya. You guys bake some bulkie rolls and then we’ll buy them off you every Sunday for 25 years. That’s my contribution. If you can’t find a way to make ends meet with that, then I don’t know what to tell ya. GoFundMe’s were designed for charities, not Bob Kraft’s bail money or Widoff’s roof fund.

You wanna raise money? Sell more shit. Grocery stores putting you out of business? Welcome to capitalism. And it’s not like grocery stores are some new phenomenon. They weren’t invented at the same time as iPads.

You’re a business owner that has survived for years based on reputation and tradition. But clearly that’s not working anymore, so it’s incumbent on you to figure out a way to make it work. If you can’t do that, then you don’t stay in business. Do you think Old Balls started a GoFundMe when the Woolworth’s went out of business? Do you hear him whining about not being able to ride the ferris wheel with Joyce at White City? (who am I kidding, that sounds way too racist for Joyce) Welcome to America.

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You know what I used to like? Watching movies at the Lincoln Plaza theater, finding some deals at the Webster Square Ames, and buying cheap shoes on the third floor of Kangaroo Crossing. But guess what? None of those business was built for the long haul. I don’t give a shit that Widoff’s has been around since 19 ought 7. We don’t keep businesses afloat because of nostalgia. We keep them afloat because they make something we want at a price we’re willing to pay for it.

And what’s up with that goal? $100,000? Where the hell did they come up with that from? I mean, maybe set a more reasonable goal and you won’t come across as such moochers. You know who’s got $100,000 for ya? The bank. Try going down there and taking out a loan. Since you love nostalgia so much, you might as well do what a business would do in a similar situation back in 19 dickety four. Or just beg for it. Whatever works for you.


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43 Comment(s)
  • Dee
    June 24, 2015 at 3:26 am

    A fixed roof won’t solve the lack of customers problem, so the public donates 100k to fix the building then the real estate value is worth more, the business fails anyway and the owners sell the building and make off with a hefty profit. Good plan

  • Em
    June 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of pastry, bread, bulkies. Etc… That the owners of Widoffs have donated to anyone that needs their help. They didn’t have to do that. But they did because they’re good people. So this is what they get in return? Pathetic.

  • Em
    June 22, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    You people are pathetic. No one said it was the publics responsibly to pay for things the bakery needs. It’s just like nice people are actually willing to help out and it’s greatly appriciated. Don’t want to donate then fine go live your miserable little life and leave Widoffs alone.

    • lol
      June 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      go eat a bulkie

    • G-Love
      June 26, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Wow, I wonder what Widoff’s owner would say if he knew you were responding to existing and potential customers like this. I think I’m actually going to print your comments & drop them off to Joey. And Joey as I know him, won’t be happy at all when he sees your comments calling people pathetic. Nice move sweetie ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Em
        June 26, 2015 at 10:01 am

        I’m actually pretty close to the owners and everyone that works there and have been reading them the convorsations that have been going on in the comments including everything that I’ve said to people as I am defending the bakery and calling people out that are making things up that aren’t true. It’s okay you tired ๐Ÿ™‚
        And don’t even try to continue to argue with me as I will no longer reply. Everyone on this page obviously has nothing better to do than try to bring people down and I won’t be apart of it. If you have nothing nice to say about Widoffs then just go away. Have a nice day ๐Ÿ™‚

        • G-Love
          June 26, 2015 at 10:29 am

          I wasn’t bad-mouthing or making up stuff that wasn’t true. It’s called constructive criticism my dear and you’re not capable or mature enough to accept it like an adult.

          • bill
            June 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm

            G-Love. Its exactly why the place is going down hill because of employees like that. I buy so much product from them it would be a shame to see them go, but they just are terrible at customer service. Probably the worst i have to deal with. What a shame!!

  • Steven Stover
    June 20, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    And all this time I thought they were poppy seeds.

  • MS
    June 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    The problem with these business is the kids get involved and just bleed off all the money. Someone mentioned the Wonder Bar. This was a well established business that was making money until the son took it over. He bled it dry to feed his nose.

    • Finnish Goalie
      June 20, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      As you say, right up his friggin’ nose.

      • lol
        June 23, 2015 at 12:02 am

        and in his veins

  • Wheelwright
    June 20, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I remember going to Widoff’s as a kid but haven’t been there in many, many years, it’s very sad to see small businesses struggling but it is the responsibility of the owner of the building to take care of that building. A roof leak starts out small, is easily repairs but if ignored it can result in a catastrophic roof collapse as we had many last winter in the area.

    Is it the responsibility of the customers of Widoff’s to pay for this or the family? The owner neglected the building, perhaps from an inability to pay, perhaps from wishing it would go away. Water is the number one cause of building deterioration.

    I feel sad as the future of the business is in jeopardy. Widoff’s is a Worcester institution but like many others it may not survive. I wish the family well.

  • GoneWest
    June 19, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Maybe it’s because people only seem to be buying bulkies from them.

  • Stop the madness.
    June 19, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Gofundme has gotten out of hand. Have you ever just gone to the site and checked out the pages in Worcester County and beyond? You can help fund people with what appears to be medical bills, fire damage…and even because people are admittedly horrible at money management…let’s not forget start-up businesses, court fees and funding a bikini contestant. If some of the panhandlers in the city had access to wifi we’d likely see their Gofundme pages too. Pretty soon Girl Scouts won’t sell cookies…they’ll just set up Gofundme sites for their troops.
    Unfortunately I am desensitized when it comes to that feel-good charity glow some people get.
    There is still free will and no one is required to donate but I am sorry…sometimes I feel like it’s not much different than standing in traffic with a cardboard sign. Sh*t happens, I get it, but I can help but feel skeptical with almost every charity because for every real charity there are scams and abusers. I feel for widoffs, I do, but at the same time I think more of an effort needs to come from such a high $$ request. What happened to actual fundraisers? Be creative…do what you do best widoffs! Bake some bulkies…. Have a banquet…sell some tables…. Do a raffle…. If you build it….we will come.

    • everything + time = trash
      June 20, 2015 at 8:45 am

      I create realistic an elaborate stories on gfm, and sites of the like, just for the pan handlers. its all part of keeping the rent down round the woo. once i get funded i distribute evenly to the bums, and it in turn encourages more begging. the more cardboard billboards will help embarrass the city, and possibly deter the educated children of the afluent from hangin around after college and build a rich business and/or life in grand ole wistahhhhhh. -the rents too damn high.

      • Stop the madness.
        June 22, 2015 at 6:36 am

        Forgive me if I am not quite following…you create gofundme pages specifically for panhandlers and then distribute the funds evenly to “bums” and as a result it encourages more cardboard activity with the hope that it will embarrass the city, keep the rent low and then cross your fingers that the educated population will graduate and leave. (?) Is that what I just read? Please clarify if I am missing any sarcastic undertone.

  • Maggie the Cat
    June 19, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I agree with Turtleboy on this.

  • Em
    June 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Ok first of all there aren’t “roaches running around and being baked into the bulkies”. They are very sanitary and carful when it comes to the food. There are animals and bugs everywhere and anywhere there is food. That’s unavoidable. Second of all, I work at Widoffs and the owners and everyone that work there are really good people. They aren’t begging for money. The owners kids made the gofundme page because they didn’t want to see their dad lose his business. Wouldn’t you all do anything you could to help your family in a situation like that? You’re also all saying how much you love bulkies and you’ll go buy some but won’t donate. That’s doesn’t make a bit of sense. They don’t spend money willy nilly they were one of the many small businesses that got hit hard in the most recent economic depression. As the daughter of someone that has gone through the same exact thing with his own buissness I understand how horrible it is to not be able to pay your bills as I’m sure many of you also know. So if you think it’s stupid and you don’t want to donate then don’t and close your mouth. You all clearly have nothing better to do than bitch about something you supposedly don’t care about. Have a heart people. We’re all on this earth together I don’t understand why people don’t help each other out. When did life become about helping yourself and only yourself? It’s quite pathetic. Have a nice day ๐Ÿ™‚

    • bill
      June 21, 2015 at 9:44 am

      First of all em there certainly are roaches running in the store in some parts. Seondly, the owner and ALL his staff should go to public relations classes, or just simply be NICE. the counter etiquette is awful, the phone etiquette awful and dealing with the OWNER is awful. This might be a start. Being in small business you truly are only as good as the people around you. His people are not!

      • Em
        June 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

        It’s hysterical that you actually think that you know what you’re talking about. I work there I know all about that place I deal with the people there everyday and everyone there is really nice. At the front counter were all very friendly and love the customers that treat us with respect. It’s the asshole like you that get treated like shit. You get what you give my friend ๐Ÿ™‚

        • bill
          June 22, 2015 at 8:33 pm

          Sorry Em I go there everyday myself and you couldn’t be so way off base!! The African american gentleman that works there is probably one of the worst people to deal with. He’s the baker. Joey himself is TERRIBLE over the phone. Hey thats my feeling as well as other business people. Maybe try and rectify the problem and stop disparaging people. Have a nice day

          • Em
            June 22, 2015 at 9:11 pm

            It’s funny, for someone that claims to hate the place so much and hate dealing with everyone there you just said that you go there everyday and you’re spending an awful amount of time obsessing over it on here. Clearly you have nothing better to do with you’re life and it so funny to me that you feel so shitty about yourself that you need to bring everyone else down to your level. And the funny thing is you’re probably the most miserable person. GOODBYE.

          • Em
            June 22, 2015 at 9:12 pm

            Like I said buddy, you get what you give ๐Ÿ™‚

        • lol
          June 22, 2015 at 11:59 pm

          youre not making the business look good nor professional by even responding to this, let alone calling customers assholes

          • Em
            June 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

            It’s not even worth it to argue with people like you I have better things to do. Goodbye ๐Ÿ™‚

          • bill
            June 25, 2015 at 3:50 pm

            The funny part, or not really funny part lol is that i buy from them every day and would hate to see them go! But as you see even, the people that work there don’t listen to constructive criticism but only berate and cuss at people. Its a shame because the ship is sinking from the top down!

        • G-Love
          June 26, 2015 at 9:48 am

          Em, You’re definitely wrong about the etiquette in Widoff’s, or you’re way off base on what etiquette means. I go in to buy bulkies from time to time and the service couldn’t be worse. The counter girls I’ve had wait on me have ZERO personality and apparently don’t know how to smile, or say thank you, or have a nice day. If someone can’t give good, pleasant customer service, then that person needs to find a new job and unfortunately, there’s too many unpleasant people working at Widoff’s.

  • Kate
    June 19, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Glad I’m not the only uncharitable a$$hole that thought exactly this. Deferred maintenance will bite you in the butt–homeowner or business owner. It doesn’t mean you can beg $100k from the community to fix what you should have fixed over the years.

  • Finnish Goalie
    June 19, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Have you done anything on the Wonder Bar since it has come back?

    Similar situation, a city staple that had to close because of poor business decisions, but now it is back.

    If it closes, hopefully someone can renovate and bring it back.

    It is a shame that more people aren’t willing to got the extra yard and buy local. Fresh rye bread with Kaalikaaryleet. Oh lord…….

    • lol
      June 22, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      and holy rat shit in the pizza cellar at wonder bar. the owner was seriously sleeping, high on drugs always. the food was good until i saw where they store and cook it uck

  • Stephanie
    June 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

    The fact that there are insects is a huge turn off.
    I like the bulkies too but not w a side of insects.

  • Harry
    June 19, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Stop bitching. Don’t want to fund them? then don’t.

    • Carlo's Daddy
      June 19, 2015 at 8:41 am


      ‘Stop bitching. Don’t want to read the article? Then don’t.’………go away, clown.

    • Finnish Goalie
      June 19, 2015 at 8:42 am

      And they won’t. But please, feel free to contribute yourself. The link was provided.

  • hola
    June 19, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Problem is, who wants to buy bulkies with roaches baked into them? I’d like to support them, but that’s just nasty.

    • Finnish Goalie
      June 19, 2015 at 7:56 am


  • Big Time Donut Guy
    June 19, 2015 at 7:09 am

    If the owners cant or wont get a bank loan, that tells you they’re in a heap of shit and that the end is near.
    Dont throw good money after bad. I wouldnt give them a dime. But I might buy some bulkies.

  • Frogshit
    June 19, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Okay… I’ll be the one…. Last week I read the same shit about Annie’s Clark Brunch. Now I’m prepared to get my asshole reamed because in Main South, I’m told, this Annie lady is like the second coming of Christ. With that said… Do these people even begin the day with a business plan? Do they just fling the doors open, take the money, then saunter off to Walmart and buy some goodies? WTF? Equipment repair, Pest control, Building maintenance, ya, that’s part of running a fucking business! I know, I’m gonna’ get the one’s that yell, “Oh, it’s not her fault. The building needs fire protection and she didn’t know and blah, blah, blah….” BULLSHIT! It’s part of the game, Sorry. That’s the way it is. Begging for money because you don’t know how to run a business is not a plan.

    • RJ
      June 19, 2015 at 8:27 am

      My understanding about Annie’s (and I could be completely wrong) is that the code changed relative to where you can have a cooking surface, so they had to do a renovation because a building code changed, not because it was dirty or run down. It’s a little different, I think (if my information is correct).

      • Frogshit
        June 19, 2015 at 8:54 am

        The story I read was that the hoods were in dis-repair and there were a lot of sanitary code violations at Annie’s… Code changes happen. They do not happen overnight.

  • BobnMic
    June 19, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Doesn’t Widoffโ€™s Bakery have any kind of insurance to deal with stuff like a bad roof resulting in an infestation problem and loss of business depending on their policy if they even have one? If that was in fact the result of course. Negligence I don’t think insurance companies cover. That’s just bad management. It’s too bad. That smell of fresh baked bread (etc.) in that neighborhood on a Sunday morning was second to none.

    Shit I gotta go hit the frige. That thought just gave me a stomach woody.

    • Frogshit
      June 19, 2015 at 6:44 am

      It’s called “running a business”… Insurance? Building fucking maintenance! Too busy spending perhaps?

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