I had a chat with Marco Cornale who owns the Fratelli Bakery on Commercial Drive in Vancouver as well as in New Westminster.
Tell me how long you have been in the bakery business on the drive
Any challenges over the years?
Especially over the past couple of years, like everyone else in this industry with the workers and keeping all the bakers working.
When your family started out 22 years ago, what types of bakery items do you still have today?
Our St Honore cake, many of the puff pastries and cookies we did back then are still in our pastry case now, of course depending on the season.
What are your best sellers right now?
Cookies – the Eccles, macaroons, biscotti, almond raspberry twists
Breakfast – apple turnovers, with puff pastry and apple filling
Because you are on the drive and it is an Italian area, would you consider your baked goods to still be Italian?
No, these days we bake what is popular and we go with the favourites.
Can you name 2 or 3 items that you sell well on the drive vs your New Westminster store?
Our clientele is about the same in both locations
You added a food truck about a year ago, do you find is their anything different for the areas you go to with the truck?
I added the coffee, speciality coffees, espresso, cappuccinos, lattes on the truck. It has been a great addition to our fresh pastries. Right now we are at BCIT full time and it is great to see students and faculty able to enjoy a coffee with our fresh pastries on a daily basis.
When you were growing up before you got in the baking business, were you wanting to go into baking or something else? When I was a child I grew up working in a bakery, my aunt and uncle owned Bon Bon Bakery which had been around for 55 + years. I have always been involved in the bakery and bakery supply business. My brother approached me about 23/24 years ago asking me if I wanted to open a bakery with him, Fratelli means brothers and that is how we started off.
When you are outside of Canada travelling, you are probably checking out bakeries wherever you go, what do you look for?
I look for the product to see what people are specializing in. I was just in Australia for 3 weeks last summer, and I couldn’t believe the bakery culture and the coffee culture, I was impressed to see what they had to offer, such a diversity of different products in each bakery.
Vancouver is like anything we put in the store kind of sells, it is very adaptable to the kids and the old Italian customers who have been coming in all these years.
Fratelli Bakery is located at 1795 Commercial Drive in Vancouver and at 459 E. Columbia Street in New Westminster, you can follow them on Instagram @fratellibakery
Stay tuned for the next chef in the The Baker series.
By: Richard Wolak