Prantl's founder attends grand opening of Greensburg bakery
Henry Prantl was at a baking convention in California in the 1960s when he had the idea for the cake that would become a Pittsburgh area icon.
“The burnt almond cake, I actually got the idea from a baker in Anaheim, California,” he said.
Prantl bought the concept back to Pittsburgh and put his own spin on it, creating a dessert that's earned national recognition.
Westmoreland County and Greensburg officials, along with bakery owner John Felice, joined him Thursday for the ribbon cutting at the new Prantl's location on Grove Street.
“We are extremely fortunate to have Prantl's Bakery join the business-scape of the city of Greensburg,” Mayor Robert Bell told a crowd of about 150 people. “I've had a number of people tell me we need a bakery in Greensburg. Here it is.”
The Greensburg location has been open to the public with limited hours for almost two months, and making baked goods to ship to online customers and the Pittsburgh Prantl's locations since late last year.
It also houses Prantl's cake-decorating service and will serve as a “test kitchen” for new recipes.
Hours have expanded to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Prantl no longer owns the business, having retired in 2007. The bakery that bears his name is now owned by Felice, a Greensburg resident.
Prantl, a third-generation baker, said he never expected the bakery he started in Shadyside in 1966 to grow the way it has.
“I was just so impressed when I came out here,” he said.
Felice said he has big plans for the future of Prantl's.
“Since our soft opening, it's been steady business,” he said.
He wants to open more locations, though that might still be a ways out. Felice said he wants to make sure the Greensburg bakery is fully established before opening a new one.
As for Prantl, he said he doesn't do much baking in retirement. He dabbled with it at his home for a bit, but it didn't last long, he said.
“The wife and I didn't see eye to eye in the kitchen,” he said.