by Joshua Maloni
Why bake for the holidays when the Fiores will do it for you?
That's Michael Fiore's thought, anyway. He and his wife, Lindsay, are the new owners of the Village Bake Shoppe at 417 Center St., Lewiston. On Thursday morning, the store will reopen with a new look, newly painted walls, the previous staff ... and original owner Bridget Schroeder's from-scratch recipes.
Michael, who has known Bridget for several years, says her no-mix, original cakes, pies, cookies and brownies "can't be easily duplicated."
Pairing high-end products with a fresh décor, he says his plan is to develop the Village Bake Shoppe into "more of an attraction."
"I want this place to be a destination," Michael says.
To that end, he and his wife will offer original-recipe desserts, customized orders and, in the coming months, breakfast sandwiches and soups. The Fiores want their business to be a welcome stop for both tourists and residents.
"We'll be their hometown bakery," he says, and notes his staff is inclined to open early for those seeking coffee or stay after-hours for last-minute snackers.
A Niagara University graduate, Michael has a background in marketing and recently worked in the banking industry. He and Lindsay took over the Village Bake Shoppe from the Hoferts, who decided to step away from the store.
"I've always wanted to open my own business," Michael says. The Village of Lewiston was attractive, he adds, because local customers "are phenomenal."
"It's the customer base that was so attractive," Michael says. "I want to do their baking so they don't have to."
And, unlike Grandma, who's likely to bust out the wooden spoon if guests aren't 100 percent satisfied, Michael welcomes any and all feedback from patrons.
"I want them to tell me," he says. "My goal is to make everyone happy."
The Village Bake Shoppe's hours of operation are from early morning - around 6 a.m. - until 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and until about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 754-2300 or "Like" the store on Facebook.
The store will officially celebrate its re-opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Dec. 2. This event will coincide with the holiday tree lighting at Hennepin Park.