Tuesday, October 3, 2023

    South Jersey bakery opens second site as pastry cafe in Haddonfield



    HADDONFIELD – Friday is a landmark day for DiBartolo’s Bakery.

    After 51 years making Italian pastries and speciality cakes, first in Pennsauken and later on Haddon Avenue in Collingswood, it will open a second location in nearby Haddonfield.

    The new family-operated DiBartolo European Bakery, however, is more than a bakery. It’s also a café with coffee and espresso, tea, sandwiches and seating, offering more services than the traditional bakery, where all pastries — almond cookies, biscotti, pound cake, cupcakes and wedding and holiday cakes — are baked using many original family recipes. (The Collingswood site will continue to be the primary baking location.)

    Besides bakers, the family also boasts an acclaimed pastry artist, Al DiBartolo Jr. 

    In addition to Italian specialties, the Haddonfield dessert menu will includes French pastries.

    The Haddonfield store at 115 Kings Highway East is the result of a new business arrangement between the DiBartolo family and Genesis Hospitality.

    For the moment, the family deferred comment on its Haddonfield expansion to Genesis, which declined to comment on the business expansion and its role pending the setting of a grand opening date.

    On its website, Genesis lists DiBartolo European Bakery as one of its “members.” Other Genesis members include several upscale Princeton eateries and a hotel, such as Chez Alice Patisserie and The Peacock Inn Hotel and Restaurant.  Another member is the Washington Crossing Inn in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.

    “We are committed to crafting exceptional experiences for our guests. Whether it’s fine dining with a breathtaking wine list or a casual pastry, we’re happy to deliver with excellent service and our signature warmth,” the Genesis Hospitality website declares.

    The bakery is also advertising for more employees.

    Both the Collingswood and Haddonfield locations are in downtown shopping districts, where there is foot traffic.

    Benjamin and Nina DiBartolo founded the business in 1969 on Marlton Pike in Pennsauken but decades later moved to Haddon Avenue near Collings Avenue in Collingswood.

    The family’s business philosophy posted on its website: “Baking for our customers’ families the same way we baked for our own.”

    The founders’ sons, Michael and Al DiBartolo, run the daily operation in Collingswood while Al’s son, Al DiBartolo Jr., is the family’s award-winning pastry chef who lately has been shuttling back and forth between the two locations to prepare for Friday’s soft opening.

    Al Jr. fashions uniquely decorated cakes and cake sculptures not only for customers but also on reality TV competitions such as “The Halloween Wars” on the Food Network and “The Cake Boss” and other programs on The Learning Channel (TLC). Last winter he built an eight-foot Santa arrangement with two other chefs inside the Park Hyatt Aviara near San Diego.

    Visitors to the Collingswood bakery often can see Al Jr. decorating cakes behind a display case of pastries.

    Colleen Bianco Bezich, chairwoman of the Partnership for Haddonfield business association, said Haddonfield is seeing a resurgence of confectionaries and bakeries.

    “I am thrilled DiBartolo’s has come here. People know and love them from Collingswood,” she said.

    “DiBartolo’s pound cake has been my family’s favorite since I was a little girl and we always got our cakes from them.”

    The new Haddonfield bakery doors will open at 8 a.m. Friday. 

    Visit www.dibartolobakery.com or www.genesis-hospitality.com/

    Carol Comegno loves telling stories about South Jersey history and our military veterans. Her book, “The Battleship USS New Jersey: From Birth to Berth” is the definitive history of the battleship. If you have a story to share, call her at 856-486-2473 or email  ccomegno@gannettnj.com.

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