Star Café & Bakery Has Closed in Holly Hills

The Afghan Bakery opened this July

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Star Café & Bakery offered traditional Afghan breads and pastries. - Jessica Rogen
Jessica Rogen
Star Café & Bakery offered traditional Afghan breads and pastries.

The air around Holly Hills smells a little less sweet after the departure of a beloved, if short-lived, bakery: Star Café & Bakery (5547 South Grand Boulevard). It opened this past July and is now closed. The shop served its last customers last week.

Star's owner Nikki Ahmadi broke the news on her pastry business' Facebook page, Bake.with.nikki, on December 16, citing "personal affairs" as the reason for her decision — and by "affairs," she means a baby, who she looks forward to welcoming in the coming year.

"I am sad to announce that I have closed Star Café & Bakery. A year ago today, I was extremely excited to open a storefront to better serve my customers in person. However, due to personal affairs I must shift my immediate attention to my growing family and prioritize my personal life at this moment in time."

Ahmadi opened Star Café & Bakery this past July in a small storefront near the intersection of South Grand Boulevard and Bates Avenue in Holly Hills. An Afghan refugee who moved to St. Louis as a child two decades ago, Ahmadi had a successful career in corporate accounting before leaving it all behind to follow her baking dreams. As Ahmadi told the Riverfront Times in an interview this August, she started baking in her spare time as a form of stress relief, but after taking the Best Tasting Cake award at the 2019 Bride St. Louis' Cake & Champagne Bridal Show, she realized she had what it took to make a go of baking full time.

Fans of Ahmadi's cardamom-scented cookies and sweet and salty kulche shor treats need not fret, however; Ahmadi will continue to offer her pastries and custom orders through her Bake.with.nikki brand, which customers can access through her Facebook page of the same name.

Ahmadi does not rule out opening a brick and mortar shop again one day, noting in response to a comment that she "will consider reopening and relocating in the long run." For now, though, she is happy to create her sweet treats at her own pace for the patrons that have shown her support over the past year.

"I want to thank my customers for all your loyalty and support and I will continue to serve you all to the best of my ability through custom orders and requests as I operated previously," Ahmadi writes.

We have reached out to Ahmadi and will update this story as additional information becomes available.

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About The Author

Cheryl Baehr

Cheryl Baehr is the dining editor and restaurant critic for the Riverfront Times and an international woman of mystery. Follow her on the socials at @cherylabaehr
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