Prantl's Bakery opens in Greensburg, future expansion planned
Prantl's is open for business in Greensburg.
The bakery on 612 Grove St., best known for its burnt almond torte, is in the midst of a "soft opening."
Most of the sweets and treats from its other locations — in Shadyside and on Market Street in Downtown Pittsburgh — are available at the Greensburg location.
A grand opening with more fanfare will be held in the next few weeks, said owner John Felice of Hempfield.
"The soft opening is when you get out all the kinks," he said.
Despite the lack of marketing, the store was bustling Wednesday with a steady stream of customers from the city and beyond.
Although Wednesday was its first day fully open to the public, the bakery has been running since October, baking tortes and other products to ship to the Pittsburgh locations and customers from around the world who order online.
Prantl's first offered pickups of online orders at the Greensburg location in November, an arrangement that initially limited to the holiday season and eventually extended into 2018.
Felice bought Prantl's Bakery in 2015. He knew the founder, Henry Prantl, whose vision and creativity he said he hopes to continue.
"I've taken what was his dream and expanded it," Felice said.
He has national ambitions for the bakery, and they start in Greensburg, he said.
Demand for Prantl's products, especially its burnt almond torte, was so high that the Shadyside and Market Street locations couldn't bake them fast enough. Prantl's sold more than 5,000 tortes over the holidays and went through more than 15,000 pounds of almonds in the past 10 months, Felice said.
The Greensburg location can supplement the other stores while serving as a "test kitchen" to try out new recipes, Felice said.
The Prantl's cake-decorating service also moved to Greensburg.
"Our designers, I think, are as good as the 'Cake Boss,'" he said, referencing the popular TLC reality show.
The bakery has attracted national attention. In 2014 the Huffington Post called the burnt almond torte the "greatest cake America ever made," and this year the Food Network named it Pennsylvania's best cake.
Felice wants to capitalize on this recognition.
He's considering licensing Prantl's name and recipes to bakeries in other states — and other countries.
"We want to continue that momentum," he said.
The Greensburg location is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday during the soft opening.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, email@example.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.