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After going out of business in 2020, Specialty’s Café and Bakery (and its beloved cookies) return to Mountain View

Photo: Specialty's / Facebook
By Laila Weir - Published on March 03, 2021.

South Bay fans can again savor Specialty’s Café and Bakery’s legendary cookies (and more), after the company had shuttered all its locations and filed for bankruptcy early in the pandemic. The popular café and caterer reopened this week at a single location in Mountain View.

The café has reopened under the ownership of the pair that originally founded it in the ‘80s. It’s one of a handful of resurrection stories that offer bright spots in the otherwise charred landscape of the pandemic-battered local restaurant scene. (For another tale of an eatery that rose from the ashes of 2020, check out Hoodline's story on Cupertino landmark Bobbi's Coffee Shop.)

“Due to the harsh economic situation brought on by COVID-19, Specialty’s had to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,” reads the café’s website. “Fortunately, the original founders of Specialty’s are bringing back the delicious products Specialty’s has always stood for.”

The café is serving its original cookies alongside an updated selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and more. “We’ve downsized to just one location and have updated the menu with new delicious creations,” says the company.

Cookie flavors include various chocolate chip options, including gluten-free; chai snickerdoodle; salted rye whiskey dark chocolate and oatmeal chocolate chip ($3.50 each, or $3.95 for gluten-free). The café also serves Peet’s coffee and a handful of other desserts and snacks.

Dawn Sandnes and Craig Saxton founded the company in 1987, as noted by Palo Alto Online, which first reported on the popular eatery’s return. The Chronicle adds that Mexico-based company FEMSA Comercio bought Specialty’s in 2016, and expanded it across California, Illinois and Washington.

The original founders now own Specialty’s, according to its website, though it doesn’t specify exactly how that came to pass. “The family is back!” reads the site. “Specialty’s original founders, Craig and Dawn, missed the business so they've returned and they’ve brought their (now grown!) kids with them.”

So will the long-time workplace favorite return to other towns in the future? Maybe. “We will open additional locations based on customer demand,” the site promises.

Specialty’s is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday at 645 Ellis St. in Mountain View. Customers can order online at www.specialtys.com.

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