Bing’s marks 70th birth­day

Bak­ery to cel­e­brate with free cup­cakes

Newark Post - - Front Page - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

One of Main Street’s old­est busi­nesses will mark yet an­other mile­stone on Satur­day.

Bing’s Bak­ery, a long­time down­town Ne­wark main­stay, will turn 70 and cel­e­brate by giv­ing away cup­cakes to the first 250 cus­tomers and of­fer­ing sev­eral items for 70 cents be­tween 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“We just want to thank peo­ple and the town,” said Carla Guzzi, who owns the bak­ery with her hus­band, Tom. “With­out them, there is no Bing’s.”

Though the Bing’s name dates back 70 years, the bak­ery has been on Main Street for 145 years un­der dif­fer­ent names, she said.

In 1946, Rus­sell and Se­lena Bing bought Fader’s Bak­ery and re­named it Bing’s. At the time, it was lo­cated at 57 E. Main St., roughly where Cal­i­for­nia Tor­tilla is to­day, and moved to its cur­rent lo­ca­tion at 253 E. Main St. in 1955.

Rus­sell died in 1979, and Se­lena con­tin­ued to run the bak­ery un­til shortly be­fore her death in 2006.

Tom, a na­tive of Staten Is­land, N.Y., was hired as a baker at Bing’s in 1996. Nine years later, he bought the bak­ery.

“Me and Mrs. Bing had a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship,” he said. “She was a men­tor to me.”

How­ever, the name Bing’s al­most didn’t carry on. Bing rec­om­mended he change the name to give the busi­ness a “fresh start,” but he rec­og­nized the im­pact of the name and asked her for per­mis­sion to con­tinue us­ing it.

“It’s spe­cial be­cause of who she was to me,” he said. “We’ve grown the busi­ness and kept the name go­ing.”

In 2014, Bing’s Bak­ery was fea­tured on the TLC show “Buddy’s Bak­ery Res­cue.” On the show, the Guzzis told host Buddy Valas­tro that the busi­ness was strug­gling to stay afloat. Valas­tro de­vised new prod­uct lines, spruced up the dé­cor and told the Guzzis to start mak­ing less in­ven­tory to avoid waste.

The Guzzis said last week that the tele­vi­sion ex­po­sure helped the busi­ness re­gain its foot­ing.

“Busi­ness is busi­ness, every­body strug­gles, but I’d say we’re in a bet­ter place than we had been,” Tom said, adding that they saw a rush of new cus­tomers for three months af­ter the show aired. “It’s ta­pered off slightly, but vol­ume has in­creased. It widened our base and in­creased aware­ness of us.”

“We’re proud to say we’ve kept the mo­men­tum go­ing,” Carla added.

The Guzzis say they hope to not only keep the busi­ness go­ing but con­tinue to grow it.

Tom at­trib­uted their suc­cess to of­fer­ing home­made-qual­ity prod­ucts.

“You can still get that here,” he said. “Su­per­mar­kets are con­ve­nient, but you still want to go to some­thing you know.”

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

Tom and Carla Guzzi, who bought Bing’s Bak­ery in 2005, are pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate the busi­ness’ 70th birth­day.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF BING’S BAK­ERY

This photo, be­lieved to have been taken in the early 1950s, shows the orig­i­nal Bing’s Bak­ery lo­ca­tion at 57 E. Main St.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF BING’S BAK­ERY

This un­dated photo shows Se­lena Bing, one of the orig­i­nal own­ers of Bing’s Bak­ery.

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