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Conti’s Pastry Shoppe provides for community

Conti’s Pastry Shoppe provides for community

Bronx Times
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History is freshly made every day at Conti’s Pastry Shoppe!

Celebrating 95 years this coming October 1, the 786 Morris Park Avenue bakery shows no signs in slowing down any time soon.

Sal Paljevic, Conti’s Pastry Shoppe owner, began working at the iconic establishment 14 years ago and since then he and his team have strived to provide the Bronx and its residents high-quality baked goodies.

Paljevic said his establishment gives back to the community by donating gift certificates to local schools such as Preston High School, St. Francis Xavier School and St. Theresa’s Elementary School.

Every year, Conti’s donates over $1,000 worth of mouth-watering cakes and pastries to Fordham Prep to celebrate their Italian Club Carnivale.

Conti’s products are also offered by Legends Hospitality which is owned by the New York Yankees and its product can be found in all of the Yankee Stadium suites, he added.

The key ingredient behind Conti’s original success was the Conti family, who ran the business for 80 years, and the key to its present accolades is Paljevic’s team of dedicated employees.

“Conti’s is the best place to come to because everyone here is friendly and it’s a blessing for the neighborho­od,” shared Tom Finelli, a Conti’s regular.

Former ‘Live’ co-host Regis Philbin is said to stop by Conti’s and is a fan of its Boston Cream pies, added Finelli, Philbin’s childhood friend.

“Conti’s Pastry Shoppe is 95-years-old and is probably one of the most fabled establishments here in our community,” shared Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj.

“They’re involved in every aspect of the community from helping with Morris Park’s Christmas lights to providing for seniors and students. We appreciate all small businesses, but those that give back, we owe them because they help make our communities more vibrant.”

The Conti’s history can be traced back to the start of the 20th century when its founder, Augustino Conti emigrated from his native Parma, Italy to New York where he quickly found work in a bakery.

Possessing an extensive knowledge of cookies and cakes from his hometown, Conti decided in 1921 to establish his own bakery in the Italian American community nestled between Van Nest and Morris Park.

His shop, A. Conti, incorporated not only Italian classics like cannoli and torcetti, but also French pastries like napoleons and cream puffs which quickly established the shop as a premiere baker at a time when a local pastry shop was the center of a community.

In 2001, Conti’s grandson, Orlando passed 80 years of tradition and secret recipes to Mario Elia who was committed to preserving the quality and home-style baking characteristic of the pastry shoppe.

In 2003, Paljevic purchased the business from Elia who still bakes for the pastry shop.

Conti’s retained most of its original details such as hand-stapled tin ceilings, wooden walls, terrazzo floors and its original marble soda fountain installed in 1928.

The shop most notably served as a filming location for the 2008 Louis Lombardi directed slice of life comedy ‘Doughboys’ chronicling the lives of fictional Bronx brothers Frank and Lou who ran their family’s bakery which was a fixture in their neighborhood.

Conti’s Pastry Shoppe is open Sunday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, call (718) 239-9339.

Updated 5:03 pm, July 9, 2018
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