BIZNOTE: Wildflour closes its West Seattle Junction location

That’s the sign on the door at Wildflour Gluten-Free Bakery in The Junction; the company confirmed to WSB via email, “Unfortunately we had to close the business today.” This is less than a week after Wildflour emailed customers to say it needed help, and one day after it said the same thing on social media, in part:

… We find ourselves in a very sad position, where the future of Wildflour is looking more and more over. If anyone is interested in helping, we are looking for accredited investors/partners to help get us on the right path, and we are willing to go over details if interested (our own financials and direction needed to correct current path). Our passion for our product is like no other in the gluten free space, and we just want to continue doing what we love. …

According to its online background page, Wildflour was founded in 2010, and taken over by its current owner in 2019. Last year it expanded into West Seattle by taking over the former Flying Apron, also a gluten-free eatery, at 4709 California SW. If it doesn’t reopen, this will be the fourth vacant storefront on the west side of the 4700 block of California; of the other three, two (the former Bin 41 and former Pharmaca) are listed for lease, and the third (former Taqueria Guaymas) was at last report to be turned into a new restaurant by co-owner Sam Virk, whose family also owns the Wildflour space.

44 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Wildflour closes its West Seattle Junction location"

  • Wendell January 16, 2024 (7:26 pm)

    Sad news, we enjoyed that bakery, and wish the owners the best – but we are hoping the Wildflour in Ballard honors our Flying Apron gift card. 

    • Alice January 16, 2024 (8:34 pm)

      Their Ballard location is closed, too. From what I’ve heard in the GF community, only the Bellevue location remains open

  • Wsgolfer January 16, 2024 (8:25 pm)

    Please someone bring back great harvest! It had the best burger buns, hot dog buns, bread etc. 

    • Constance Wood January 17, 2024 (4:49 am)

      Agree 100% with you on Great Harvest.  Loved their bread varieties, sandwiches, etc.  Are there any stores open?

      • GF fan January 17, 2024 (7:09 pm)


    • KWest Seattle January 17, 2024 (6:26 am)


    • Mr J January 17, 2024 (1:51 pm)

      I think they closed for a reason. Please feel free to open up a similar establishment. Two bakeries struggling in the same spot isn’t reassuring.

    • wessyder January 19, 2024 (11:08 am)

      Our whole family misses both  Great Harvest but also that wonderful family that ran this location.  They moved on to greener pastures, but they were so nice.Miss the kolash and the porky pig and the buns.the Factoria location just isn’t the same, does not have the same menu that the West Seattle location had.

  • Pete January 16, 2024 (9:13 pm)

    We have to start a conversation about rent costs for small businesses. I don’t see how any non chain can survive. It’s heartbreaking.

    • my two cents January 17, 2024 (6:03 am)

      @Pete  No where in the story does it cite or infer that the leasing costs were the reasons for the closure and investor request. Rent is just one of, but not the only factor that businesses face. Not that I am indicative of the WS population in total, but never went after GH left – I do not specifically seek out gluten free products.

      • SCS January 17, 2024 (5:06 pm)

        I can confirm that it is part of reason (ex employee here when it was FA). 

    • Daniel January 17, 2024 (10:22 am)

      Oo yea, looks like commercial rent in the junction is like almost $40 per sqft per year.  That property is what, like at least 2k sqft?  ~$80k/yr of rent is no joke.  Probably need to be pulling in over $2k of sales per day every day to make that work?

  • Kmm January 16, 2024 (11:18 pm)

    This is really sad. And not good for the vibrant life of our community. That was a really good place and nice to have local businesses that are not chains. 

  • CJ January 16, 2024 (11:43 pm)

    Agree 💯 % with Pete.  Our small businesses need help with these exorbitant rents!  

    • Brandon January 17, 2024 (12:10 pm)

      Yeah! We could totally subsidize the rents at the expense of the taxpayer which inherently make em go higher! Or you know, stop raising taxes for wasteful spending. Raising wages for the raised rents from raised taxes is the only Seattle play unfortunately. Nobody passed econ 101, they copied Karl M on the tests though and never learned.

      • Pete January 17, 2024 (2:55 pm)

        You can look just how much extra your landlord has had their rates increased online. You can see if if tallies with how much they raise your rent. 

      • Pete January 17, 2024 (3:28 pm)

        Ah, yes. Anyone who thinks things could be better is a Marxist. If you think lower property taxes would result in  rents going down I have a bridge to sell you 😆 

        • Brandon January 17, 2024 (6:34 pm)

          If that bridge is for a light rail, I’m sure the community would buy it.  Well, that’d raise other taxes too, but double down, we can solve that future problem with another problem!  — Never said taxes going down would bring down rents, but it might help the market with competition, and obviously at very least not increase rents, which some would think is desirable.  Surely, we know raising property taxes is going to carry right over to the renter… well actually, Seattle doesn’t.  — There’s a way to make things better without “gimme gimme gimme, I deserve that for nothing” which just kicks the can down the road long enough for people to forget it didn’t work the last x-number of times.  But then we wouldn’t have issues to campaign on with a shiny solution that breaks.  I digress on the history lesson of the past – we all lived it.

    • Ella Williams January 18, 2024 (6:06 pm)

      Or possibly support local businesses so they do not go out of business. I have a small food business, unique, popular, and loved by all.  36 years in business. I’ve done so very much to accommodate by opening on off hours if someone calls/makes appt, leave orders in a cooler outside for pick-up, deliver in a reasonable 10 mile range. What does it take? But most people come in on a special day for a treat, then drop their larger bills at the chains. We small businesses need dedicated buyers to be able bring in for them quality local products. We need regular/higher quantity sales to stay alive. We are selling and moving.  Many crying customers. Let’s all make an effort to at least save a few more $ and spend it at Bellevue Wildfour to keep people with celiac disease able to buy yummy GF products.  I am sorry to see West Seattle, my childhood home town and home of the first healthy breakfast place I would actually eat in let Wildflour go. West Seattle was ahead of its time in the late 70’s/ 80’s, but looks looks like the home of the original SEAHAWKS lost their Mojo, and let a great thing falter. So sorry, everyone. So sorry Wildflour. Now go out and support small businesses.

  • Bummed January 17, 2024 (5:57 am)

    I’m bummed about this. As someone with celiac this was a great option for baked goods. 

    • Equally Bummed January 20, 2024 (2:35 pm)

      As a fellow celiac, I feel your pain. I had finally found a spot with an easy to grab, delicious gf breakfast sandwich that *wasn’t* also vegan and everything felt right in the world. Very disheartened to keep seeing gluten free spots going out of business. We need to eat too! 

  • Mel January 17, 2024 (6:38 am)

    While the intention is good, this city has become impossible for small business owners. The minimum wage is almost at $20/hr now. It isn’t sustainable for small businesses. And the costs keep getting passed on to us as consumers. Government officials keep talking about equity and affordability but they’re just making it harder for me to live here with how expensive everything has gotten.

    • AD January 17, 2024 (11:30 am)

      Product costs are the same in other cities where the minimum wage is stuck at $7.25/hour.  It’s not the wages.

      • flimflam January 17, 2024 (2:52 pm)

        AD, that is simply not true – products/ingredients most certainly do not cost the same everywhere. Now, weather that is a factor here is unknown.

        • AD January 18, 2024 (10:54 am)

          I didn’t say everywhere, I said other cities.  Head down to Atlanta and tell me how much you pay for a snack at a bakery there.  It’s the same as it is here.  Minimum wage is $7.25/hour in Georgia.  It’s not the wages.

      • Als January 17, 2024 (8:51 pm)

        Agreed; wages are not the issue here. There are plenty of small businesses in Seattle thriving despite having one of the highest minimum wages in the US. 

    • Pete January 17, 2024 (11:34 am)

      I get where you’re coming from, but $20 p/h barely covers rent for a studio. 

      • alki_2008 January 17, 2024 (7:42 pm)

        Maybe more people should consider not trying to have their own place?  2 people sharing a 2 bedroom apartment is much easier than a single person trying to have their own place. It’s been claimed that America is having a loneliness epidemic, so co-habitating with others until getting married (partnered) and moving to another place with that partner might be good for people’s mental well-being as well.

    • Jay January 17, 2024 (12:15 pm)

      Employees are productive, a good business plan will be able to generate more revenue per hour out of the employee’s labor than goes to salary. The problem here is rent. Look at the inverse of your argument. Is it fair to expect a lower caste of workers or indentured servants living in poverty in their cars and on street corners to subsidize the cost of your food? Every dollar saved in salary costs with starvation wages will go to a rent increase anyway.

  • Lisa January 17, 2024 (7:26 am)

    How convenient that the building owner also has ventured into the restaurant business.  And that the owner is going to be able to take advantage of what loyal tenants provided to him for years , because they couldn’t make it work as the rent increased exponentially.  Unreasonably high rent.  I feel disgusted and won’t patron the Virks new grab.  Guess that’s the way things work.  At least he’ll be able to afford the rent.  

  • Htb January 17, 2024 (7:56 am)

    Another day another failed WS business. It’s never a surprise anymore – we can’t even lease an ATM machine

    • Glenn January 19, 2024 (2:54 am)

      Whatever happens to owners that go out of business? What is plan B?

  • walkerws January 17, 2024 (12:56 pm)

    I don’t mean to talk ill of a business that by all means had great intentions. But the food at Wildflour just wasn’t that good. Their options were all very dry and the flavors were off. Compare this to somewhere like Nuflours in Capitol Hill which did gluten free at a much more delicious level of quality.

    Lines are currently out the door for the gluten free/vegan donuts at Dough Joy, which shows that the market is there in the Junction.

    Rents and wages may have played a part, but they would have been able to make it work if the product was good enough.

    • GFWS January 17, 2024 (1:43 pm)

      I unfortunately have to agree. I’m extremely gluten intolerant and rarely visited this shop because, frankly, the product wasn’t very good. The savory food was flavorless and most of the baked goods had texture issues even beyond what’s normal for gf/vegan. I wish we had a better gf bakery in West Seattle, I do believe there is a market.

    • MK January 17, 2024 (9:07 pm)

      Doughjoy isn’t gluten free and never has been. People are mixing up vegan and gluten free again, and they keep telling me to go there. Can’t eat it, unfortunately.Wildflour had bad business skills, a really poorly designed preorder website, and a very unhelpful social media presence, especially after they bought flying apron and started fighting with vegans who were concerned about not everything being vegan anymore, labeling, etc. I was watching from the sidelines being like ‘mmm they’re gonna go down soon, they’re alienating their customer base.’ And here they are. Bummer for the staff and for my ability to consume cinnamon rolls, but I can’t say I’m surprised. 

      • GFWS January 18, 2024 (9:23 am)

        Dough Joy just introduced GF donuts.  You have to pre-order them, though.  I got them the first weekend they were offered and they’re very good!

      • Walkerws January 18, 2024 (10:20 am)

        Dough Joy just introduced gluten free donuts (also vegan) on Saturdays and Sundays. They’re very very good. 

    • GF&Vegan January 19, 2024 (5:59 am)

      Unfortunately I agree that they had a poor business model and didn’t seem to truly understand or care about allergies. Many people who are truly allergic or gluten intolerant cannot eat oats, even GF oats. They added GF oats to EVERYTHING on their menu!! (This was not the case with Flying Apron) That’s when I stopped going. Also they were both reluctant to answer questions about ingredients and often unsure about what was used. Ummm you specialize in allergy specific food! Hello!? I simply couldn’t risk a trip to the ER with anaphylaxis. A cupcake just isn’t worth it. And I agree the taste quality went down hill too.Super too bad! It’s a special corner of the market that I do think there is good demand for. I know I’m willing to pay more for it. GF Vegan is impossible to find. (They also didn’t use yeast in most their stuff, another bonus for one of my allergies.)

  • Peter January 17, 2024 (1:55 pm)

    My son and I have been patrons of Flying Apron for years. The staff was always friendly and helpful, and every item we tried was consistently fresh and tasty. We truly hope they can reopen soon, either at this location or in a new spot in or near West Seattle.

    • SCS January 17, 2024 (5:11 pm)

      I don’t care for WildFlour foods as most had egg in it & I’m allergic. But Flying Apron had amazing items that were baked goods without egg and gluten-free. (Vegan/Gluten-free). 

  • GF fan January 17, 2024 (7:06 pm)

    I miss Great Harvest too!

  • WSB January 18, 2024 (1:02 am)

    For those discussing rent as an issue: I just happened onto the “business opportunity for sale” listing for Wildflour. It lists the monthly rent for the West Seattle location as $5,373.

  • HTB January 18, 2024 (8:13 am)

    Wow! Really surprised that the Fremont rent is so much lower. I would have guessed the opposite!

  • Karyn M. January 18, 2024 (10:54 am)

    THANK YOU to all of the staff who have worked at Flying Apron / Wildflour over the years – the warmth and cozy community space you created will be very missed. As someone who lives in the immediate neighborhood, it has always been a favorite place to stop in for a treat, lunch, or a catch up visit with friends or family. Thinking of all of you during such an abrupt transition.

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