Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Just like that, it appears to be gone.

I was not notified about this, and I'm in a bit of shock and disbelief.  Horror even.

Keeley's Bakery and Cafe, a place I've frequented for many years, has brown paper covering up the street windows and the exterior sign is gone.

My relationship with Keeley's began way back in July of 1978, shortly after I returned from my wedding and honeymoon.  As anyone who has had a conventional wedding reception knows, there are many odds and ends to deal with after the affair is over.  As I sorted through wedding gifts, leftover programs, and reception favors, I came across a bag containing the platforms and pillars from our wedding cake.

I vaguely knew of a bakery shop on our main street, Keeley's, and so I stopped in one day to see if they would take a donation of cake building pieces.  I had no other use for them.  Mr. Keeley seemed grateful for the donation, and as I was leaving he came running out after me and offered me a dozen donuts.  My love affair with Keeley's was born that very day.

Not long after that, Keeley's moved the shop just a block closer to the center of town.  This new shop expanded its menu to include breakfast entrees and a soup and sandwich lunch menu.  My good friend Patti met me there every Monday morning at 8:30 for many years.  We would sit and have breakfast along with numerous cups of coffee, all the while solving the problems of the world.  Some weeks it would require more coffee than others.

She had one son the same age as my oldest daughter, and when the two of them finally went off to kindergarten, we continued to meet.  I continued to make babies and I simply brought them along with me.  They, too, learned to love Keeley's.  Daughter Sarah particularly liked the pretzel shaped donuts, and son Caleb always wanted a chocolate covered donut and chocolate milk.

One of the last memories I have from that cafe is of my son getting his head caught in the tight space between the back and seat parts of his chair.  He was a rambunctious little guy, and he was probably trying to examine the chewed gum stuck under his chair.  Before I knew what was happening, there it was - his head coming through that space and stuck.  Very stuck.  We must've made such a commotion trying to disentangle him, that Mr. Keeley himself came out from the kitchen and gave us a hand.

After many years at that location, Keeley's moved a last time, again only two more blocks down the street into a former internet cafe.  The new decor was modern industrial chic, with colors of neon green, black, and silver.  In addition, they upgraded their menu.  On this new menu, the breakfast entrees and lunch sandwiches were just a bit fancier and there were more options.  As always, the glass cabinet at the counter contained all those pastries that originally made Keeley's famous.

Over the years, Keeley's emptied my pockets quite frequently.  Not only did we patronize the place for our Monday coffee sessions and other meals, but I would also stop in for school birthday cupcakes and other holiday baked necessities.  Sometimes, we simply needed a dozen raisin filled cookies for the road.

And now it's gone.  No warning.  No goodbye.  Just gone.

All I can say is that now, without Keeley's and its coffee and donuts, the problems of this world are really gone get stacked up.

Somebody oughta do something about this.  This is serious.


  1. I wonder if your local newspaper could give you a clue to what happened or where they are?

  2. Maybe you ate up all their donuts. . .

  3. So sorry for you. I was devastated last week when we went to Willcox and my apple butter stand was gone. But I didn't have the same relationship you had with your bakery. Lots of good memories for you but a whole lot less calories.

  4. Sorry for your loss, but I am willing to bet that you will find another donut shop that also sells coffee:)

  5. Sorry to hear about this. Living in a small town, we have had this happen often through the years. Sad.

  6. It's getting harder and harder to find a good old-fashioned bakery anymore. Sometimes we just want a good doughnut, and grocery store bakeries just aren't the same!

  7. I haven't been to Keeley's in many years (I even friend doughnuts there for a while). Even so, I am sad it is gone. Does anybody on earth make raisin-filled cookies now?

  8. That's too bad but you sure wrote a wonderful tribute to them.