WEST PITTSTON — Legacy Baking Co. hopes to live up to its name.
The bakery, owned by Joe Agolino Jr., his wife Cristina and Charles Sammon, held its grand opening Tuesday at 20 Luzerne Ave., right next to Agolino’s restaurant.
Agolino’s father, Joe Sr., owns that business, and the younger Agolino believes the new venture is part of what the family does best — serving the community through food.
“We’ve been in business for 65 years,” said Agolino Jr. about the restaurant. “We’ve seen generations come through. … And I noticed that people pass down their legacy through food.”
In addition to offering an ever-changing array of pastries and other sweet treats, Agolino Jr. said the bakery will recreate loved ones’ recipes by request, to keep their legacies alive.
“I remember a customer said she made her mother’s recipe to remember her mother,” he said. “You can remember someone just through food.”
All pastries are baked fresh at Agolino’s restaurant by Legacy Baking Co. staff and brought over to the shop daily. The bakery also features a full coffee bar equipped with an espresso machine for specialty drinks.
The location feels like a cafe, and Agolino Jr. said he really wants people to sit back and relax.
“In West Pittston, the town shuts down after six o’clock,” he said. “We wanted to create somewhere people can go and hang out.”
One wall in the bakery features framed photos from West Pittston’s past, including places and people from decades ago. “I was born and raised in West Pittston,” said Agolino Jr. “I wanted to show that off.”
He said creating the space from conception to opening took about six months. The building is owned by Agolino Sr., who made the suggestion that a bakery next to the restaurant would be a good idea.
Agolino Jr. said the space was formerly occupied by his brother-in-law, Drew Salko, who owns an engineering firm.
“He outgrew the space,” said Agolino Jr.
He has hired 10 people for the bakery, including an executive pastry chef and head baker. Agolino Jr. plans to expand hours and offerings in the summer, as well as provide outdoor seating.
He also said customers will soon be able to order their pastries, cookies and cakes online at www.legacybakingco.com.
West Pittston Councilwoman Ellen Moss Quinn was on hand for the grand opening. She believes the bakery is a venture that revitalizes the borough, encouraging other businesses to come to the area. She said the family is resilient, having been one of the first businesses to bounce back from flooding in 2011.
“Young Joe is carrying on his father’s tradition,” she said.
The borough’s current streetscaping project has caused Luzerne Avenue and surrounding areas to be under construction for nearly a year. Agolino Jr. said the construction has been “a nightmare,” and he does worry that it will effect business.
“So far we’ve been lucky,” he said. “I am hopeful people will still get here.”
Moss Quinn said the road will be paved in the spring.