EASTON, Pa. (WLVT) - The phone keeps ringing, and people slow down as they pass Easton Baking Company on 34 North 7th Avenue in the city's West Ward neighborhood.
Eric Butrym and his wife Christine DeFrancesco-Butrym are reviving the beloved bakery after it closed in October 2018.
"I cannot walk out [to] the storefront to either do something around the corner or to cross the street to go get lunch without someone stopping and saying, 'Hey, are you the owner?'" Butrym said. "'When you are going to open? Are you still going to have the donuts? Are you still gonna have the tomato pie?'"
Butrym left a job in corporate America to start this new chapter with his wife, who grew up in Phillipsburg.
"Although we lived in New Jersey, every time my wife would come back to Easton, she would stop in and get some tomato pie or some donuts to bring home for the family," he said.
Eric's father Ed Butrym said he supports them, as he checked out the store for the first time last week.
"They're adventurous. They want to get out and do something different, so this is it," he said. "It’s a lot of work, but I think they're up to it. They’re excited about it, and it’s going to be a success for them."
The biggest question Butrym said he gets is when the bakery will open. He explained that several inspections precede getting the mandatory certificate of occupancy. The goal right now is to open by Valentine’s Day.
"I think it would be a perfect day to open, and I really, really think that we're aiming for slightly before that if we can possibly do it," he said.
When the doors finally open, Butrym said longtime customers can expect their favorites waiting for them.
"We'll probably start out with a tomato pie, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and a few other pastries that people have really enjoyed," he explained. "Then we'll work our way into selling things like cakes, cannoli and some of the other specialty items that Easton Baking is known for."
They’ll use the same equipment and recipes from the previous owners -- the Mossellie family, which opened the bakery in 1973.
"They ran this successfully for so many years, and in such a nice way that has engendered such great positive attitude from everyone who comes in here," Butrym said. "It's amazing."
In its heyday, the bakery welcomed long lines of customers on Sunday mornings. Butrym said he hopes the support he’s gotten so far translates into a similar turnout.
"It brings me back to how grateful I am to be able to bring a local staple back to the community and provide the people with the treats that they've grown to love," he said.