If it’s not the smell of delicious baked goods wafting down the street that draws patrons into Front Street Bakery, it’s the dazzlingly decorated cakes in the window that get mouths watering.
Either way, this third-generation bakery has proven its staying power, going strong nearly 75 years after it first began offering one of its famous dot cookies to every child who walks through the door.
“Basically it’s been the same recipes from back when it started,” says Jeffrey Wohlfarth, the owner and head baker who runs the family business with his sister, Lisa Acerno, who’s the manager. “This is all made from scratch. It’s not this bagged stuff where you just add water and eggs to it. These are our own recipes.”
Like many businesses — especially those in the food industry — the bakery has had to adapt to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at a time and offering curbside pickup, among other measures.
But people are still hungry for a sweet slice of the bakery’s delicious freshly baked bread, famous Danish crumb cakes, cookies, and other favorites. And the family has continued to build upon their roster of recipes, such as the new carrot cake and red velvet cake additions. They’ve also expanded the dot cookie lineup.
“Originally they were called pink dots when my parents owned it and then we expanded and now we make all different colors,”says Acerno. “We make them for the seasons, like St. Paddy’s Day we make the green a white, Easter we make spring colors, Halloween we make them orange.”
Customers can often order custom dot cookies with school colors for graduation parties. That’s in addition to orders for more labor-intensive fondant cakes that customers find online or on TV that patrons want replicated.
Having won the Bethpage Best of Long Island contest nine years in row through 2019, Front Street Bakery’s current owners expanded their facilities in 2016 to keep up with demand. All the more reason they’re sure to still be the village’s favorite bakery for decades more to come.
For this family, baking is in their blood. The shop was founded by the owner’s grandfather’s brother, taken over by his grandfather, then by the current operator’s parents. Two uncles ran bakeries in Floral Park and Sayville.
“The next generation will be my son and Jeff’s son,” says Acerno of the family’s up-and-coming bakers, Robert Acerno and JJ Wohlfarth. “They are both in the bakery business right here working with us now. Jeff is teaching them everything he knows to carry on the tradition.”
Front Street Bakery is located at 51 Front St. in Rockville Centre. It can be reached at 516-766-1199 of frontstreetbakery.com
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