An Italian bakery is currently setting up shop at 218 Grant Street, adjacent to Sweet_ness 7 Cafe. Prish Moran, owner of the building and Sweet_ness 7, is beyond excited that the bakery is coming and feels that the addition to the street will help to further the momentum for additional businesses looking to establish on the West Side. The bakery is being called B. Ferrante's, and the family members behind the business are Sarah Gilmartin, along with her mum (Lucy) and dad (Pat). The three are embarking upon a culinary journey that will bring old world Italian edible delights to a neighborhood steeped in Italian traditions. I was able to ask Sarah Gilmartin a few questions about the opening of B. Ferrante's:
Can you give us a little history behind the decision to open the business?
B. Ferrante's is a name from my father's side of the family. My paternal grandmother is 100% Sicilian, and the recipes that we will be using are traditional recipes passed down from her father (Salvatore Marchese) and mother (Angeline Marchese) who came from Palermo and Valledolmo, respectively. The Marchese family were greengrocers for over 50 years in Batavia, NY. Benjamino Ferrante was Salvatore's oldest brother, and when Benjamino and the Marchese brothers (Felix, Salvatore and Guiseppe) first arrived in this country, over a century ago, they worked the mucklands of Elba, NY. They had come from a family of fruit farmers back in Sicily. Family has always been extremely important to all of us. Therefore, it is so exciting to be embarking on this journey together, and sharing these phenomenal recipes with Buffalo!
How long have you been baking?
I remember, when I was young, my mother would take my brother and me to my great grandparents' house. She would sit, watching and learning from my great grandmother (Angeline) how to make all of the recipes we'll be featuring in the shop. Between my mother, my father, and myself-- we can offer years of experience in the restaurant/food business. So, we know, that by using high quality ingredients, and using these traditional recipes that we can offer, what I think is, an exceptional product.
What sort of baked goods will you be offering?
We'll be featuring specialty Italian cookies and pastry-- i.e. Sicilian sesame cookies, Italian egg orange, pizzelle, cuccidati, assorted biscotti, confetti cookies, St. Joseph's cream puffs (in vanilla or nutella), cannoli, Sicilian meatball cookies, Italian almond cookies, fresh baked assorted bread, etc. Some of the cookies will be sold by the pound, while others will be sold individually (particularly cannoli's and cream puffs). In addition, we will have daily features, and will try to incorporate a gluten free option when we can. Also, we'll be selling cookie cakes in three different sizes, but only the standard cookie cake ($25.00) will be available regularly in the shop. The other sizes will have to be pre-ordered in advance.
What days and hours will you be open?
We're planning on being open 5 days a week (at least to start with), and our proposed hours are:
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7:30-3pm Sunday 9-1pm
Will you be baking for local restaurants as well?
We would love to work with restaurants in the area, and have been trying to get sampler packs of our cookies out to a few restaurants.
What other offerings will there be?
We also make other types of desserts, apart from cookies, like ricotta cheesecake, torta di noci, and other specialty items (these can also be pre-ordered at the shop). We're hoping with the retail space on grant street to increase our visibilty.
We will regularly be featuring changing photography on our beautiful gallery-like walls. They will be pieces by local artists, and will be for sale in the shop (all money going to the featured artist). Art and supporting artists in the community is also something that is very important to us. We saw this as a good venue to showcase some of the many talented people of Buffalo.
When do you plan on opening?
Everyone in Buffalo, that we've encountered, has been so kind and supportive. It truly is the city of good neighbors! We are hoping to be open by the beginning of may. At the moment, the only thing holding us back from having an official date is getting the go ahead from The City, in terms of licensing; however, all of the paperwork has been filed.
218 Grant St, Buffalo, NY.