Same name, new face

Bakery under new ownership, familiar leadership

The Edgewood Bakery, which remained closed for six weeks after Tom and Carol Rykalsky dropped their legal challenge over majority ownership in the business, quietly and without fanfare, reopened on April 14. In its first short week back in business, traffic was better than expected.

Gary Polletta, Edgewood Bakery Director of Operations, stands in front of a tribute to his parents, Gary and Sandy Polletta, who owned and operated the well-known bakery for 37 years.

Gary Polletta, Edgewood Bakery Director of Operations, stands in front of a tribute to his parents, Gary and Sandy Polletta, who owned and operated the well-known bakery for 37 years.

Since reopening, returning customers told Gary Polletta, Jr., director of operations, that they didn’t realize what they were missing. “That made me glad to hear, but also sad,” he said. “It was such a thriving business. My parents spent a long time building it.”

Polletta felt that the business got so much negative publicity over the lawsuit between the former owners and Stache Investments that people would be gun shy about coming back. It wasn’t just bad publicity, though, but the product that worried the son of former owners Gary and Sandy Polletta.

“I feel like the quality really slipped,” said Polletta. “I don’t think it was kept what it was prior [to the new ownership].”

After the hi-tech renovation that occurred last summer, Polletta needed to make the place softer, more inviting, more visually pleasing without being overwhelming. The bakery has been redecorated again to reflect the former coziness, with bistro tables and fresh flowers, and the logo has been restored.

The digital displays that had replaced the chalkboard menus will be repurposed in different areas in the bakery; one will be used in the wedding cake consultation room and Polletta is hoping to utilize software that will allow his wedding cake baker to design the cake with the client.

The Edgewood Bakery plans to hold a grand opening celebration as a first step in getting back its reputation as a beloved local bakery.

“I am confident that we will be successful again. It will be a hard row to hoe, but if we can get people back in, the quality of the products will keep them coming back,” he said.

By Kate A. Hallock

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