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‘We’ve come a long way’: Edmonton bakery owner talks rebuild a year after fire

Click to play video: 'East Edmonton Italian Bakery location set to reopen' East Edmonton Italian Bakery location set to reopen
WATCH ABOVE: Following a devastating fire in 2016, the Italian Bakery in Beverly will reopen in March. Shallima Maharaj reports – Feb 5, 2017

After fire tore through the Italian Bakery in Edmonton’s Beverly neighbourhood, community members were left wondering whether the owners would rebuild at the same location.

Less than a year after the blaze, they are more than 90 per cent of the way to the finish line.

“We’ve come a long way and we’re pretty close now,” Renato Frattin said.

Frattin is one of the owners of the beloved Beverly mainstay. From childhood, he remembers being immersed in the family’s passion for pastries, bread and fine Italian cuisine.

The loss of the business was immense for them. Their location on 118 Avenue has been a fixture for more than 30 years.

READ MORE: ‘When things get tough, we’re there for each other:’ Italian Bakery worker on store burning down

A faulty overhead heater was to blame for the fire on Feb. 20, 2016.

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“Your business burned down and now [you’re] rebuilding and then customers always asking ‘when are you going to be open? And how is construction going?’ And then I started to realize that yeah, this bakery belongs to them,” Frattin said.

The bakery portion was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt entirely. It is now significantly larger than the old facility.

READ MORE: Owners devastated after fire destroys Italian Bakery on 118 Ave.

The storefront area sustained major smoke and water damage and had to be gutted. Some items were salvaged, including shelves, display cases and family photographs.

Insurance was not able to cover everything. In fact, the family will have invested more than $1 million once the rebuild is complete.

Their goal is to be open for business in mid to late March.

The exterior of the Italian Bakery has been tarped over until the rebuild is complete.
Inside the storefront portion of the building, jars of food are ready to be shelved.
Inside the storefront portion of the building, jars of food are ready to be shelved.
Inside the storefront portion of the building, jars and boxes of food are ready to be shelved.
A photographic homage to the Frattin family history has been moved from its original spot to hang behind the front counter.
A view of the much larger bakery.

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