Do you remember how good a fresh baked bread, or croissant really is?
We are in danger of seeing yet another great New Rochelle bakery——close down, because of the disruption to traffic caused by the Centre Avenue Bridge, which closed for maintenance in late July and reopened Friday.
According to city officials, the north sidewalk will continue to be open for pedestrians. The south sidewalk will remain closed for several more weeks until bridge painting is completed.
I remember when the railroad closed the North Avenue Bridge. They said it would be for three months. It was closed for more than a year. Back then, a new restaurant had just opened in the place where now is. He closed for lack of traffic a few months later.
The Bread Factory is located at 30 Grove Ave.—Centre Avenue becomes Grove Avenue after it crosses the New England Thruway. The establishment was cut off from southern New Rochelle, and half of its retail business.
As a result, Sonny Orza, the owner/baker, had to drastically cut his expenses. He let go one of his three retail workers, and cut the hours of the other two by one-third each.
The two remaining workers had to tighten their own belts, because of this new constriction on their already tight budgets. Both have had to sacrifice because of the closing of the bridge.
Orza has also had to sacrifice. He now runs many of his own deliveries, because he also had to let go a deliveryman. He gets up very early, as all bakers do, bakes and oversees his bakers, and then does this second job.
What can we do to save this wonderful bakery?
Come to it. The bread, the cake and the cookies will sell themselves to you. Did I mention that the Bread Factory has great prices, better than the manufactured baked goods at a store? Sonny’s breads, both the standards and the artesian loafs, are wonderful. Flaky, tasty, full bodied, they are all you want from a bread. And there is coffee in the morning.
The cakes, especially the mini-cakes, are not only beyond delicious, they are a steal. The cookies, such as the Linzer Tart, are just wonderful. The best buy in this whole store is the fabulous Danish, at $1 each.
Orza also bakes the many seasonal goods: hot cross buns, Mardi Gras cakes, soda bread, meat-bread, Jewish, Italian, Spanish and other ethnic favorites. You just have to buy his thin-baked toasts, ideal for bruschetta tomato or muffaletta olive spreads. These toasts come in plain, red pepper (my favorite) and ground black pepper. There are also other varieties, and Sonny takes special orders too, on almost anything. If you own a food business, your customers deserve this New Rochelle baked bread.
CORRECTION: This version has been modified from the original, which contained a misleading sentence about the status of the construction work on the bridge.