Overbrook bakery closes, blames city soda tax

CC Orlando & Sons, which baked countless wedding and holy communion cakes and pastries since its founding on an Overbrook corner in 1948, closed after business Sunday.

The Orlando family cited not only the challenges of the baking business in these days of ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts shops and 24-hour supermarkets but the city’s 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages and a recent rise in property assessments.

“The soda tax was the kill shot,” said Anthony Voci Jr., a grandson of Christopher Columbus “Chick” Orlando and now a lawyer in Philadelphia.

Chick Orlando started in the baking business with his father in the 1930s with a shop in West Philadelphia, and ran several shops in the city and Delaware County until he was killed by a drunken driver while making a delivery shortly before Christmas 1971. His sons David and Robert took over Orlando’s.

The business’ last owner, Tyler Orlando, 32, also a grandson, said business was off 60 percent since the soda tax went into effect Jan. 1 – a difficult situation for a low-margin business. Orlando said his customers simply crossed the nearby city line to avoid the higher prices for juices, milk and other sweetened drinks typically purchased with doughnuts and pastries. “I’d see my customers in there,” he said. “I don’t blame them.”

Read more of this Philly.com article by Michael Klein by clicking here.

Photo: Anthony Voci Jr.