AMHERST — The grand opening of Corner Bakery Cafe in Amherst Wednesday morning drew a large crow, with 150 people lining up outside the store before its 6 a.m. opening.
“The earliest people got here was at 4:15 a.m,” franchise owner Fran DeSimone said. “It was a very nice turnout. They cheered and clapped when we opened the doors.”
The cafe, located at 1551 Niagara Falls Blvd., is the second in the area with one opening on Transit Road last December. DeSimone is eyeing properties in the Town of Tonawanda and hopes to open a location there within a year.
DeSimone said the area near Delaware Avenue and Sheridan Drive is a possibility for the Tonawanda cafe, and an empty commercial building that houses the recently opened Chipotle has a large area available at the intersection.
“I’m looking at a couple spots in Tonawanda,” DeSimone said. “The demographics for Corner Bakery fit the area, and I like it there, I’ve done business there before.”
Corner Bakery Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, as well as coffee and baked goods. Customers can eat-in or take-out, and the restaurant prides itself on providing fresh food to its neighbors “around the corner.”
DeSimone purchased franchise rights to the business in Western New York, including the areas of Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Syracuse and Watertown. He plans on opening six more in the Buffalo area in Tonawanda, Orchard Park, Cheektowaga, Niagara Falls and Hamburg.
“The next one will likely be in Cheektowaga,” DeSimone said. “We have a spot already picked out.”
Local government officials, including state Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Raymond Walter, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning, which took place just before 9 a.m.
The Amherst location employs 72 workers, and combined with the Transit Road location, Corner Bakery Cafe accounts for 110 jobs in the area.