Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café and Bakery, aka Back Door Donuts, has been sold by long term owners, Janice Casey and Rita Brown, to a company owned by seasonal residents Richard Friedman, David Ginsberg and Patrick Lyons.
The smell of fresh doughnuts and fritters will continue to waft from the iconic Oak Bluffs eatery. The new owners said that no changes are being contemplated except for the addition of some new equipment. Raffi Jabri will stay on as head pastry chef.
“We intend to run the bakery in the tradition of excellence that Janice, Rita and the outstanding bakery staff have so carefully and pride fully created,” Richard Friedman, spokesman for the buyers said in a released statement.
Casey and Brown will stay on as consultants during the transition. “We have run the business for 17 years and loved every minute of doing it and making the bakery the successful business it is today,” they said in a joint statement. “It was time for us to focus on other things and we are delighted to sell to folks who love and respect the bakery as much as we do.”
The purchase price was not disclosed. The bakery will reopen for the season in mid-April.
Friedman, a billionaire real estate investor and owner of the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, was a frequent host of President Bill Clinton when he vacationed on the Vineyard. He has also hosted benefit events for Vineyard House at his waterfront estate on Oyster Pond in Edgartown. In addition to sprucing up Back Door Donuts, his 2018 agenda includes developing the $125 million Edition hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Lyons is a preeminent Boston restaurateur and nightclub owner.
Ginsberg is a minority owner of the Red Sox and Liverpool FC soccer
Lyons and Ginsberg own homes in Chilmark.