To mark its 100th year, DiCamillo Bakery, iconic Niagara Falls purveyor of bread, cookies and more, is investing in its flagship store.
Three generations of DiCamillos have guided the business’ growth from its roots on Tronolone Place. It has grown to five retail locations in Niagara and Erie counties, and a national wholesale and internet business.
The company’s 100th anniversary will be New Year’s Day 2020. In anticipation, its officials have been working on plans to improve the experience of visiting the bakery's main production site at 811 Linwood Ave., said Matthew DiCamillo, company vice president.
“We’re excited to announce the capital improvement of our flagship store,” he said, “to signify that 100 years and our investment in the community.” The business began in grandfather Tomaso DiCamillo's basement, on Tronolone Place.
There will be a complete façade makeover along the entire block, involving all four DiCamillo-owned buildings. DiCamillo employs more than 50 at its Linwood location.
Located between Whirlpool and Rainbow bridges, and less than a half mile from the new train station, it already attracts tourists as well as local residents.
Inside the retail store, there’ll be new walls and floors, plus customer seating added inside the space, and patio seating outside. There will be a gas- or wood-fired oven added, he said.
There are also plans to open up a window into some of the bakery’s production areas, tentatively offering customers the chance to witness work like cake decorating.
“We’re looking at getting work started this fall, with hopefully the majority of the work done in early 2019,” DiCamillo said. “We’ve always been a grab-and-go bakery. That is fiercely important to us,” he said.
But there are also tourists in Niagara Falls looking for an authentic experience at a 100-year-old Italian-American bakery, he noted.
To celebrate the company’s heritage, there will also be a business and family history area. “When you’ve been around a long time, you’ve got a lot of old photos, and so we’ll be bringing in some of that nostalgia people are coming back for.”
The company history will also serve as a reminder of DiCamillo’s national reach. “The locals know us for bread and pizza. But people don’t remember that we still service 30 Neiman-Marcus stores and 12 Saks nationwide," said DiCamillo. "We’re proud of the position our biscotti has in the national marketplace."
Part of the new company history museum section’s mission will be making the rest of the company’s story become better known to all visitors.
“This is something that the North End of the city can be proud of,” DiCamillo said of the project. “We’ve been here for a long time, and we aren’t going anywhere.”
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