After More Than 20 Years Serving San Diego, Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café Closes Up Shop Following ICE Raid

January 15, 2020

After more than 20 years in business in San Diego, Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café has shuttered, citing an immigration authority audit as the reason behind the closure.

Founded in 1999 by owner Catherine Perez, Con Pane moved in 2010 from its original building on Rosecrans Street to the 4,000 square-foot Dewey Road bakery and cafe in Liberty Station. The bakery used European methods to produce more than two dozen varieties of bread, which were sold at the bakery and also via wholesale distribution to area markets and restaurants.

"After first opening Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café on Rosecrans and Canon in Point Loma in 1999, 20 plus years ago, then moving to Liberty Station in 2010, we have permanently closed the café as of January 15, 2020," said representatives of the bakery in a post published on social media. "We will cease wholesale deliveries on Friday, January 17, 2020. We have been subject to an I-9 audit by immigration authorities (DHS/ICE/INS) which has resulted in a notice of suspect documents. Although we require all workers to provide us with government specified documentation evidencing their employment eligibility, a number of our employees have been, without our knowledge, determined to be unauthorized workers. The discovery of a large number of unauthorized workers has so disrupted operations we have had no choice but to close."

Rumor has it, Con Pane received a hefty fine from federal immigration authorities following a surprise audit. The sudden closure leaves an expansive space open in an already desolate area of San Diego's Liberty Station. Crown Ace Hardware also shuttered its location in the same complex early last year. 

"Although closing is a heart-felt loss, it has been an incredible journey filled with laughter and tears," continued the Facebook post. "We have had the pleasure of being part of a community we love and have had the honor of being a part of birthdays, graduations, yacht races and weddings through our breads, pastries and sandwiches. We’ve given scone bites to children and have had the joy of watching them grow up and bring in their children for scone bites. We have shared stories and made dear friends and we have lost dear friends. Please know that we thank and appreciate and will miss each and every one of you. And always remember ….. eat more bread."

This is a developing story: We will update this post as we learn more.