A BAKERY owner in Wanneroo is appealing for people to continue supporting his small business after surrounding businesses closed.
Steve Chrystal has run The Oven Door Bakery at Drovers Market Place for more than 11 years and said he was fighting to keep the shop open as passing trade dropped.
His appeal followed the overnight closure of a fruit and vegetable store in the complex last week.
Mr Chrystal said he used to employ seven people but could now afford only three and was working 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I’m doing everything I can to stay open,” he said.
“I don’t want to close my doors. I’m down the back corner; it’s just a very dark corner.
“My staff have been brilliant; they have been my rock.”
Mr Chrystal said regular customers had continued to support the bakery and one man, Barry, had made a sign to help raise awareness it was still open.
He said other businesses that were still operating in the precinct included a cafe, hair salon and, nail bar, as well as the and chemist, which offered a discount to bakery shoppers.
The bakery also supplies wholesale goods to schools and restaurants, but Mr Chrystal said that was not enough to keep it going.
He hoped the goodwill he showed “behind the scenes” by donating unsold bread to people in need would encourage people to continue supporting the business.
“We take care of schools that can’t afford much – at the end of the day, I give my bread away to the school,” he said.
During last weekend’s closure of part of Wanneroo Road, signs pointing to Drovers were placed along the detour route.
Main Roads and contractors are also planning a full weekend closure of the Wanneroo Road-Joondalup Drive intersection, which has already been postponed twice.
The delay was blamed on weather conditions, and Main Roads has advised it would confirm the final date on a Monday five days before the weekend closure.
Mr Chrystal said the closure meant customers would face a long drive around to get into the shopping precinct.
Drovers Market Place owner Ray Jackson said while the roadwork had affected businesses in the centre, the tenants at Drovers were good, hardworking people.
“As their landlord, we will work with them to maintain a good service to the community as they have done over the years.
“However, the fruit and vegetable and fish shops closed without notice last week,” he said.
“He did a moonlight runner last Wednesday night; on the Thursday morning he had disappeared.”
Mr Jackson said the furniture store closed at the end of its 10-year lease and would be replaced by a child care centre for up to 80 children and laundrette within three months, with planning approval expected soon.