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A sign of the times? Dominique Ansel’s famed Hong Kong bakery to close 

With consumers in both SARs now preferring to shop on the Chinese mainland, many retailers in Hong Kong as well as Macao are struggling.

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UPDATED: 10 Jan 2024, 8:12 am

Both branches of Hong Kong’s Dang Wen Li bakery will be shuttered by the end of January, after almost five years in business, the Standard reports.

Founded in 2019 by prominent French pastry chef Dominique Ansel – best-known for inventing the cronut – Dang Wen Li quickly earned recognition for baked creations paying homage to Cantonese food culture. Ansel did his own take on the iconic pineapple bun and served little shots of Cantonese style milk tea to accompany cookies moulded in the shape of Yakult bottles.

While the bakery did not give a reason for its closure, the news follows a retail industry survey showing Hongkongers increasingly turning to neighbouring cities to spend their discretionary dollars – due to significantly cheaper prices on the Chinese mainland.

[See more: Honest Bakery’s Venus Kwan on her journey from teacher to pandan chiffon cake]

The survey found that almost 30 percent of Hong Kong residents visit Shenzhen more than once a week. According to Numbeo’s cost of living index, dining out in Shenzhen costs about half of what you’ll pay in Hong Kong. A takeaway roast chicken from the Shenzhen branch of US bulk seller warehouse Sam’s Club costs the equivalent of HK$40, or a fifth of the prices charged locally.

In a farewell post on Instagram, Dang Wen Li said its team had “loved making pastries that celebrated a city we love”.

“We are proud and honoured to have had an opportunity to welcome you and share what we do here in Hong Kong through some difficult times, and supporting it through spreading simple joy in pastries,” it continued.

UPDATED: 10 Jan 2024, 8:12 am

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