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Alumna's Bakery Sweetens Neighborhood

Alumna's Bakery Sweetens Neighborhood

Posted: August 29, 2012

Sarah Gilmartin, '99, is in the business of making mouths water.

At her new Italian bakery, B. Ferrante’s, Gilmartin uses authentic ingredients and traditional recipes to produce handmade cookies, pastries, and breads.

Located at 218 Grant Street, B. Ferrante’s was opened this summer by Gilmartin and her mother after years of baking for family and friends. The mother-daughter duo is now committed to changing the way people think about bakeries.

"Customers are used to large commercial stores offering countless goods that are made cheaply without any real skill. Most of the ingredients are prefabricated and loaded with preservatives," Gilmartin said. "At B. Ferrante’s, we make everything by hand and only use premium ingredients. You may not find hundreds of goods to select from, but everything we do offer will have been baked within 24 hours, using as many local ingredients as possible."

The menu at B. Ferrante’s includes biscotti, pizzelle, almond cookies, cannolis, ricotta cheese cake, and more. Gilmartin and her mother use old-world Italian and European family recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.

B. Ferrante’s is doing much more than satisfying the sweet tooths of Buffalo’s West Side. The bakery is contributing to an eclectic and growing community space just blocks from Buffalo State.

The section of Grant Street where B. Ferrante’s is located has benefited from a $500,000 Main Street Grant through the New York State Homes and Renewal program. The grant afforded several interior and exterior improvements to businesses and houses along Grant Street, between West Delavan and Auburn avenues.

"There are a lot of people reinvesting in the city and moving back into the neighborhood who are passionate and want to see change," Gilmartin said. "We’re lucky to be in the center of one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the city, which is bringing a necessary vitality back to the neighborhood." B. Ferrante’s is nestled among Grant Street’s Sweetness 7 café, Global Villages, Buffalo State’s Community Academic Center, and Guercio’s Market.

Gilmartin acknowledges the amount of hard work and challenges she’s faced, but has no regrets. "You hope that when you start on a journey like this that people will like what you are putting out there. So far, every bit of worry has been worth every bit of joy."

B. Ferrante’s is open Wednesday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

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