That’s the way the cookie crumbles: the popular Pacific Cookie Company, or PCC, on Telegraph Avenue will close Friday afternoon after having served cookies for three and a half years in Berkeley.
Cara Pearson, president of PCC and daughter of CEO Larry Pearson, said they decided to close their Berkeley branch — a year and a half before their lease is up — last week, once their landlord had signed a lease with an undisclosed new tenant. She added that, along with high rents in the area, the Berkeley store had not been generating enough income for it to be profitable.
“Unfortunately, (Telegraph Avenue) doesn’t have a lot of off-season traffic, during the summer and during December and January when students aren’t in town,” Cara Pearson said. “The business that we had in the strong months just couldn’t support the off-season.”
Patrons of PCC are dismayed, if not surprised, at the store’s closure.
“I’m very sad that it’s closing,” said Micah Brush, a campus graduate student, who has been visiting PCC at least once a week since school started in August and has tried all of its 13 cookies.
Campus junior Cara Chae-Banks said that while she was initially shocked that PCC was closing, it made sense given the frequency with which it offered deals for its products.
“It’s kind of sad, kind of messed up,” said Tina Hernandez, assistant manager of CREAM on Telegraph Avenue. “I thought they were doing good.”
Hernandez said CREAM will be the main storefront selling cookies and ice cream on the north end of Telegraph Avenue.
For Larry Pearson, however, the hardest part about leaving is “saying goodbye to the staff.” Regarding the future employment of its staff, Larry Pearson said local retailers have already offered to interview PCC’s current employees.
With a retail store and bakery in Santa Cruz, wholesale service and an online gift service that delivers nationwide, the Berkeley store is a small part of PCC’s business, according to Larry Pearson.
PCC will continue to sell wholesale to East Bay businesses — such as UC Berkeley’s International House Café, the Claremont Hotel and Top Dog.
More that 850 people have reacted to the Pacific Cookie Company of Berkeley’s Facebook post from Friday — a goodbye message accompanying a photo of a heart-shaped cookie captioned “Farewell, friends. We’ll miss you, Berkeley!”
“PCC cookies were always being shared whether it was by my own friends (or) by PCC with their fun word of the days,” said campus junior Janice Chang in an online message. “The fact that the cute cookie shop I’ve gone to since freshman year will be no longer be there is still something I’m trying to get used to.”