Judies European Bakery on Grove Street abruptly shut down on Dec. 22 after years of serving fresh bread to Elm City residents.

In early December, Judies employees hung a sign in the storefront indicating that the business would be closed for the holidays, but chef and store owner Dave Brooks later informed customers that the bakery would be closing permanently, the New Haven Independent reported. He attributed the shutdown to “the continued downturn in the economy.”

“It is with deep regret that I must inform you that after 15 years in business Judies European Bakery will be closing its doors forever, effective immediately,” Brooks wrote in a letter to customers. “Every effort has been made to avoid this unfortunate result.”

Brooks could not be reached for further comment.

Although some Yalies were unaware that Judies Bakery existed, its soups, salads and breads were popular in the wider New Haven community.

“I work across the street from Judies and will be lost without them,” New Haven resident Kimberly Breed told the News. “As a devoted regular, [I] loved the food.”

In addition to serving meals and pastries, the bakery delivered breads to neighborhood grocery stores. New Haven local Stacey Bubba wrote on Judies’ Facebook page that she was surprised to see the bakery closed since it was “packed constantly.”

“Judies sold a signature New Haven bread,” customer Lital Avni-Singer told the News. “It was a staple in my house growing up. I’m sad to see it go.”

Judies’ products were sold in over 40 locations throughout Connecticut.