A sweet opening for new Oakmont Bakery
Oakmont Bakey Grand Opening
For everyone else, the opening of Oakmont Bakery’s new home sandwiched between Oakmont’s Third and Sweet streets was, well, sweet.
For Marc Serrao, the bakery’s owner, the emotions ran a bit deeper as he fought back tears before cutting the ceremonial ribbon to start a new chapter.
“This is all the next generation now,” Serrao said moments after the grand opening of the new, 19,000-square-foot facility. “I love the bakery. I feel like I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do, which is build a great family business and work with my family — which I love.”
His family, friends, bakery employees and a fair amount of anxious customers gathered outside the bakery’s tall front glass doors Tuesday morning to commemorate the bakery’s grand opening. The new building sits at the corner of Third Street and Hulton Road in Oakmont, just down the street from its old digs at 531 Allegheny Ave.
Serrao was overwhelmed. The grand opening ended more than a year’s planning that reflects the 58-year-old’s lifework. He and his family opened the bakery in Oakmont in 1988.
PWCampbell, the new site’s contractor, started construction in April 2018 and spent more than 200 days building in often wet and rainy conditions.
The new spot features 110 parking spaces, the new street dubbed Sweet Street, seating for up to 80 customers, a fireplace adorned with stone and endless options of baked goodness. The expansion also means an added 20 employees and an extra floor with office space and storage.
Those waiting for their favorite donuts, pastries or breakfast sandwiches were eager to check out the new space.
“I’m most excited about its new location and the easiness of the parking to come in and out,” said Sophia Facaros, a former Oakmont councilwoman. “And they were quick before to wait on you. Now, the service will be much more swift so you’re not waiting in line for a long time.”
Sitting next to Facaros was her friend Lori Hummel, who serves on the board of Oakmont Chamber of Commerce. She said her favorite treat at the bakery is the Oakmonter, a cheesecake layered in different forms of chocolate.
“The bakery’s amazing, and I’m so happy for the Serrao family because this is really a reflection of their love and hard work,” Hummel said.
Michael Sullivan, the bakery’s retail manager, agrees with Hummel’s assessment of the family’s work ethic.
“The philosophy of the bakery is to never stay still. We constantly try to change, innovate, keep up with trends and keep moving forward to the next thing, the next thing and the next thing,” he said. “The job is so exciting because of that.”
Serrao said he felt the itch to change and move to a new location years ago. He eyed the property that now houses Veltre’s Wedding and Event Center in Plum for a while before John Veltri built there in 2016.
“I looked at that for a year. I grew up there. I sat in the parking lot, I looked at the beautiful view, the great building, you know? But I just couldn’t — I was going to change the name to Serrao’s — but I just couldn’t do it. But we are Oakmont Bakery. We create delicious memories; it’s kind of what we’re all about,” he said.
Minutes before closing on Tuesday, Serrao said the bakery welcomed more than 2,000 customers.
“We couldn’t see the doors all day.”
The bakery’s hours will be 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dillonswriting. Staff writer Mary Ann Thomas contributed.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 724-850-1298, email@example.com or via Twitter .