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Oakmont Bakery owner eyes expansion

| Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 9:37 a.m.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
The owners of Oakmont Bakery want to build another building to join their showroom on the left, with their production facility on the right, using their parking lot in the middle for the new construction area.

Oakmont Bakery wants to eliminate its parking lot to construct a building that would connect and expand its retail store and bakery on Allegheny Avenue.

It would give the popular bakery about 12,000 additional square feet of space, owner Marc Serrao said.

“In our production area we're pretty much elbow-to-elbow,” he said. “We have enough ovens and machines to automate some of what we do, but with this new building we'll have the space to walk around them. It will make it more comfortable for the people who are working.”

The building would add space in the retail area for additional seating and new offerings that Serrao said he isn't ready to reveal.

Serrao is scheduled to present his plans to Oakmont's zoning hearing board on March 5. The board will consider requested variances to the borough's minimum rear setback and parking requirements.

The board's decision does not need to be reviewed by council, but Serrao can appeal if he is dissatisfied with the decision.

The addition would eliminate the bakery's small parking lot, but Serrao said on-street parking and spaces behind the bakery should be sufficient.

He said he has a purchase agreement on a property within a three-minute walk from the bakery that he plans to turn into an employee parking lot. That would open up the parking behind the building that employees use.

There are 30 to 40 people on duty during a shift, he said.

Three parking spots would be added in front of the bakery once the parking lot entrance is eliminated.

In December, the borough established a number of parking spaces by closing off to through-traffic the median area in front of the bakery and Hoffstot's Café Monaco. The area, known as Adeline Brown Avenue, was blocked off because of safety concerns, borough officials said.

Serrao said the expansion necessary given the bakery's growth since it opened in 1988.

On its slowest days, the bakery serves about 600 customers, Serrao said. About 3,500 are served each day during the Christmas season, he noted.

The bakery makes about 6,000 cupcakes each week, Serrao said.

“We're hoping it goes through zoning without a problem,” he said. “If things don't work out, we're going to do something.”

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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