More than one year after their business was destroyed by fire, the owners of the Italian Bakery in Edmonton’s Beverly neighbourhood celebrated its reopening on Monday.
The bakery on 118 Avenue was packed with loyal customers Monday morning, happy to celebrate the bakery’s first day back in business.
“So happy to see all these people stacked up behind me,” bakery owner Renato Frattin said. “They’ve been waiting so long and so have we. So have we. This is a happy day for us.”
Fire tore through the family owned bakery in February 2016. A faulty overhead heater was to blame for the blaze.
Watch below: Fire ripped through the Italian Bakery in February 2016. The store is a neighbourhood staple and family run business in east Edmonton. Erin Chalmers reports. (Filed Feb. 21, 2016).
The business has been a staple along 118 Avenue for more than 30 years. The original owners, Antonio and Aurora Frattin, opened the first location on 97 Street in 1960.
Renato Frattin said the past year and a bit hasn’t been easy. The bakery struggled to replace machinery that was destroyed in the fire, so the owners decided to upgrade their equipment.
“We went to Toronto and visited many bakeries and did our own research. Our machines weren’t available anymore and now that we were going to rebuild, we wanted some new equipment. We wanted the best of the best… And I think we’ve achieved that.
“With our new equipment, we’re going to be able to make some artisan breads and some very tasty new products — which we’re not quite ready yet because we’re still learning the machinery — but that’s in the near future.”
Frattin said the community support since the fire has been incredible; people offered to help rebuild and even hold a fundraiser.
“Stuff like that makes you feel that you’re not in it alone,” he said.
“You don’t realize the people behind it that make your business a business until something like this happens. And then you start to think, ‘I thought this was my bakery, but this is the community’s bakery.'”
The bakery has about 20 people on staff, most of whom waited out the year and came back to work.
“Everyone seems to have a new feeling and a new excitement and it just makes me proud to have the staff that I do,” Frattin said.
The entire building was gutted and rebuilt with new electrical and plumbing systems. The bakery is also home to new murals.