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Conti’s welcomes Van Nest Academy students

Conti’s Pastry Shoppe welcomed youngsters from the Van Nest Academy to learn about baking.

Five classes visited the bake shop located at 786 Morris Park Avenue, on Thursday, April 5. The children learned what bakers do, how they bake and decorate cakes, and even got to decorate their own cupcakes which they were able to take back to school with them.

Classes from the school’s kindergarten and first grade came to Conti’s as part of class projects in which they utilize the neighborhood surrounding the school and stop by shops like Conti’s.

As part of the project, the group also visited the a local library and are making maps of the Morris Park community, said Carol Gilligan, principal of Van Nest Academy.

“The teachers have begun to utilize the neighborhood for learning,” Gilligan said. “So the teachers have contacted local businesses.”

When the students got back to school and worked on their maps of the community, many listed Conti’s, who is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, as their favorite location, Gilligan said.

Conti’s co-owner Sal Paljevic said that one of the reasons he had the kids visit was to see how a bakery works, but also to market to the future customers of Conti’s.

“We are actually recruiting a new age of customers and getting them started in the Conti’s tradition, which so many others have experienced and enjoyed,” Paljevic said. “They got to see what we do and got to experience the process of creating their own little cake, a cupcake, and decorating it with a pastry bag.”

In addition to the cupcakes, each of the young children left Conti’s with a bag of the bakery’s cookies, said co-owner Christina DiRusso.

“The children were saying that it looked a lot like it does on television on the Cake Boss show,” DiRusso said. “We are celebrating our 90th anniversary this year, and we want to do something special to give back to community by inviting in local children.”

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