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Greencastle bakery's equipment to be sold at auction

June 26, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa.-- After more than three months without the smell of baked goods wafting through downtown Greencastle, the only sign indicating the bakery's future bears the words "Sheriff Sale" in bold black lettering.

The ovens, trays and equipment that once brought piping hot muffins, cookies and sticky buns to hungry patrons will be sold at auction by order of the Franklin County sheriff on Aug. 11, according to the sign.

Bill Gour, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, said the announcement of the sale is indicative of Greencastle's struggle to fill the hole in downtown created when Steve and Jodi Carbaugh closed Wolf's Bakery in March.

"There has been some interest from potential buyers, but so far, we have not been able to get anyone in there," he said.

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Gour said his office hoped to have started working with the new owners of the business months ago, but now, with the equipment up for sheriff sale, the prospect of another bakery filling the space is uncertain.

"The closing of Wolf's really had an impact on downtown Greencastle," he said. "We would like for someone to take its place, but we look forward to working with whatever business moves into that space."

Mike Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corp., said Wolf's was an anchor in downtown, and when it was at its peak, it drew business for its neighbors as well.

Ross said the dynamic of Greencastle has changed since it closed.

"We would like nothing more than to see a reincarnation of Wolf's Bakery take place," he said. "We are losing the benefit of that business working like a magnet to attract folks downtown."

Ross said his organization is eager to help any potential buyer, just as it helped the Carbaughs when they bought the bakery. However, finding a new owner with the financial where-with-all and business savvy to keep an independent bakery afloat is a tough order to fill, he said.

While both Franklin County and Greencastle remain optimistic that a bakery will open in the old storefront at 42 E. Baltimore St., Ross said with the sale pending, it is uncertain whether or not his optimism will pan out.

Ross and Gour said they have been working with someone who is interested in buying the business and operating it as bakery, but neither was willing to comment on the potential buyer's level of interest.

"We are doing all that we know to do right now," Ross said. "We just want to generate interest in the business so we'll wait to see how this plays out."

The sheriff's office declined to comment on why the equipment was put up for sale.

Attempts to reach the Carbaughs were unsuccessful.

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