Just the mention of a David Glass cake makes mouths water, but the legendary maker of high-end desserts is going out of business.
Glass did not start out planning to treat Connecticut stomachs to his masterful baking. His journey to culinary greatness began when he went to Paris to study art. Instead, a great meal prompted a detour that brought him to work in kitchens of some of France and Switzerland’s best restaurants before opening up shop in Hartford.
Glass’ cakes have made him a legend, capturing love from reviewers from the New York Times and Zagat, which called the fabulous sweets, “drop-dead cakes,” as well as Bill Clinton, “Thank you for the delicious desserts made by David,” and David Letterman, “Chocolate cake and mousse balls! I'm the luckiest man alive! Thanks for the tasty treats.”
But the economic woes proved too much. He negotiated with his bank and whittled down debt, but the bank told Glass it could no longer wait, the Courant reports. Glass started letting word trickle out Thursday.
"When I tried to get the words out, they just wouldn't come out. It was hard to get them out," he told the Courant.
Glass took a major financial hit three years ago when Trader Joe's tried to negotiate a price for Glass’ cakes that would be less than what it cost to make them. Glass lost the account, which was worth $600,000, David’s wife. Vivi Glass, told the Courant.
Last year, Glass raised money by offering investors a return paid in cakes if they lent him money to pay off debts and raise working capital.
He took another hit when Sophia Loren sued him after naming an almond cake after her without getting her permission, the New York Times reported. So, Glass he worked out a licensing agreement that gave her 12 percent of the sales and ran an online contest to rename the cake.
Glass' desserts are sold by Whole Foods, Zabar's and Stew Leonard's. The company once had a few dozen employees. Glass let his remaining five employees go two weeks ago.
The Glasses told the newspaper they hope someday to open a smaller bakery, focusing on local customers.
Since word has been getting out, people have expressed shock in person, on Twitter and on Facebook.