The founder of Tatte Bakery + Café said this week she is excited to have opened the doors of the shop in Charlestown last month, and did not step down as CEO because of any local zoning challenges or any employee-related complaints.
Tzurit Or said they had never envisioned having to open in a pandemic, but the Charlestown opening went great despite the fact that it came in a very challenging time for businesses.
“The opening went great,” she said. “We are very thankful for the warm welcome we’ve received from the Charlestown community. Opening during a pandemic is challenging and not the way we, or anyone would want to open their door, but it was important to us to provide a sense of comfort to the neighborhood and open our doors. As you might remember our opening date got pushed a few times due to the pandemic, but once we were allowed to resume constructions and finish the project, we knew the right thing to do would be to open our doors.”
Or seemed to suddenly step down as CEO last month, but she told the Patriot Bridge that it wasn’t so sudden and certainly wasn’t because of a local zoning use challenge in Charlestown or high-profile employee letters asking for change.
“I want to be clear; I started my transition from the CEO role a few months ago and announced it internally several weeks ago,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to step down for over three years but never had the opportunity to do so. Me stepping to a new role has nothing to do with the recent events. It’s the right thing for me and my skills and the right thing for Tatte as it grows. I will be focusing [as I’ve done since 2008 when I started Tatte] in our bakery, food, café design and the essence of Tatte as its founder and chief creative officer.”
The building owner and Tatte on Warren Street are facing a zoning challenge over the restaurant use in the ground-floor space by Charlestown’s Ken Flynn. That challenge – which features the head-on collision of zoning codes and Urban Renewal Plans – is currently in the City’s Legal Department under review per order of Zoning Board Chair Christine Araujo.
Meanwhile, BPDA officials told the Patriot Bridge last week that when granting retail modifications, a restaurant use is a standard use under that designation.
That conflict was at the heart of Flynn’s argument against Tatte being able to open, as his attorney indicated that restaurant uses were not part of retail designations in an Urban Renewal Area.
That’s the crux of what the Legal Department is reviewing right now.