Tonawanda News

August 30, 2012

Corner Bakery opens for business

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

— 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. 

“I was very happy to be there,” Ranzenhofer said. “The jobs are very important — we need every job we can get.” 

DeSimone, who is originally from Utica, has a long history in the restaurant business and worked as a franchise business manager at Burger King for 22 years. Most recently, he worked to bring another chain with a similar concept as Corner Bakery Cafe to Western New York. 

Area residents, both those with the dedication to show up at 4 a.m. and those stumbling in for their morning cup of joe around a few hours later, are excited about the new business. 

“We were going to come at 6 a.m., but we were just too tired,” Rosanna DiCioccio, of Amherst said. 

DiCioccio did manage to make it to the cafe by 7:45 a.m. with her friend Laura Trentinella, also of Amherst. The pair spent a large chunk of their morning at the cafe, eating breakfast and talking.

“It’s delicious,” Trentinella said.

Judy and Bart Tosto, of the Town of Tonawanda, were also up bright-and-early to try out the new cafe. 

“We live close by, so I have been checking to see when it would open every few days,” Judy Tosto said. 

Judy and Bart have been to the Transit Road location, and were glad to hear one would be coming to their own backyard. 

“When I heard it was coming, we needed to come try it out,” Bart Tosto said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.



Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.