Why Are There No Prices at Mike’s Pastry?

Would you risk cab fare for this?
Would you risk cab fare for this?

There are some things we’re better off not knowing: the number of calories in our favorite treats from Mike’s, for instance. However, it might be nice to know how much we’re spending on those treats. Yet Mike’s Pastry shies away from publishing their prices, per the Globe, which hits a sour note with many. In fact, it might be illegal!

One skeptical customer wrote to the Globe wanting to know if the practice is legal. “I own a retail store and cannot imagine not pricing items. The customers would be at my mercy for whatever I wanted to price it at,” the reader complained.

And, indeed, we’d be pretty annoyed if we walked into, say, a clothing store, and ended up paying $200 for an unmarked pair of Jeggings when the going rate is something like $9.99. But do pastry purveyors need to adhere to the same standards?

According to Mike’s manager Angelo Papa, when asked why he doesn’t publish his prices: “I never knew we were supposed to … It’s the first time in over 60 years someone has questioned us on it.”

Technically, Mike’s is flouting state law. Per the Globe, “They are required to display a price near an item for sale, according to the state Office of Consumer Affairs.” But Mike’s thinks it’d just be too much trouble, insisting that they sell too many different items to do a “proper menu.” (Odd, this never stopped the Cheesecake Factory.)

Might there be a raid on Mike’s any time soon, though? We doubt it. No less an authority than CA chief Barbara Anthony admits: “I love cannoli.” And, while she would prefer to know how much they cost, we can’t imagine that anyone would risk punishing the North End’s preferred pastry shop. After all, if people had to pause to actually read menus with prices, the lines would be even longer. Which would mean more impatient sweet teeth at Modern instead.

Mystery at Mike’s Pastry: The Prices [Globe]