By Elena Kadvany
Palo Alto bakery Babka by Ayelet closesUploaded: Feb 7, 2020
Babka by Ayelet closed on Monday at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto, but owner-namesake Ayélet Nuchi hopes to reopen the Jewish bakery soon in Los Altos.
A selection of babka at Babka by Ayelet in Palo Alto. Photo by Veronica Weber.
Nuchi, who the dedicated babka bakery in late 2018, said she closed after rental disputes with the El Camino Real shopping center. Court records show that Town & Country Village filed in September a commercial unlawful detainer against her business, which allows landlords to evict tenants for not paying rent. A judge ruled in Town & Country's favor, cutting short her five-year lease.
Nuchi acknowledged that she was behind on rent. The babka shop was successful, she said, often selling out by the afternoon, but she still struggled to pay her $7,000 monthly rent.
Jim Ellis, co-founder of Ellis Partners, which owns the shopping center, said management worked with Nuchi for about a year to restructure her rent so she could stay at Town & Country Village.
"We would have much preferred to see her continue to operate there," he said.
Nuchi, a native of Tel Aviv, served homemade babka in flavors like nutella, halva, raspberry-cream cheese and butternut squash. She is still taking online orders and hopes to reopen the bakery in downtown Los Altos soon, where she'll serve more Jewish pastries.