In 1964, Eileen Frick opened a bakery in West Seneca. “She needed a way to feed the kids,” said her son Robert Frick. “So she opened a bakery, and made us all go to work there.”
Eileen’s Centerview Bakery (465 Center Road, West Seneca) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, with Robert Frick the owner now. It’s been in the same building all this time. Eileen’s has a website, but the bakery’s offerings haven’t changed much.
“We’re a full-line bakery,” he said. What separates Eileen’s from the hundreds of family-run bakeries that have gone out of business is the strength of their customer base. Year after year, other families have made Eileen’s a part of their celebrations, with birthday sweets or holiday delicacies.
Christmas breads, fruit stollens and poppy logs, “they make for busy days, very intense,” he said. “We can hardly put out the product fast enough.”
The almond ring is one of the year-round favorites. It’s a sweet Danish dough filled with almond paste, glazed with white icing and toasted almonds. Eileen’s version doesn’t skimp on the almond paste, with a half-inch slab inside every slice, kernel paste mixed with cake crumbs to lighten it, sugar, shortening and more almond extract. “There’s a pound and a half of paste in there at least,” he said.
It’s formed into a log, then rolled in Danish dough. The baker connects the ends of the tube, and the rings are proofed, then baked for about 40 minutes.
“You hope you sell it that day,” Frick said. “If not, it goes to the soup kitchens.” With few exceptions, Eileen’s won’t sell most of its products if they’re more than 24 hours old, he said.
The almond ring goes for $9.99. “We probably sell about 200 a week, maybe 500 on our holiday weeks,” he said. “We must be doing something right, because they keep coming back.”
For info, call 674-8586 or visit www.eileensbakery.com.
Macedonian Festival, Friday through Sunday at Sts. Cyril & Methody Macedonian Orthodox Church (4785 Lake Ave., Blasdell). Lamb, kebabs, cabbage rolls, beer and wine, baked goods and music. For more information, visit http://stscyrilandmethodymoc.com.
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