Longtime customers and new patrons alike can get a little taste of history at Berry's Pastry Shop on A Street in Antioch. Most everything has stayed the same as it was over 50 years ago when the store first opened. Though Berry's has changed hands over time, the staff has done its best to ensure that everything remains as the community remembers it.
Fresh-baked treats tempt customers from their glass cases and are served up by friendly staff. It's the same traditions, same products, said manager and head pastry chef Gina Cardinalli. If we've added anything, it's only been for the better, and, she emphasized, we haven't taken anything out.
A typical workday for the bakery starts well before dawn at 4:30 a.m., when the bakers arrive. During the holiday rush, they could come in to work as early as midnight to meet demand. Cake decorators also arrive early, around 6, to begin their work for the day before the shop opens up to customers at 7.
Early-bird patrons get first crack at Berry's wonderful breakfast pastries and fresh brewed coffee. The bakery is currently running a morning promotion $1 Out the Door. Just one dollar buys a cup of brewed coffee and a special pastry. Though the promotion began exclusively with Berry's breakfast pastries, the store is looking to expand the promotional offerings to muffins and coffee cake slices.
Berry's is a traditional bakery, offering French, Italian and American pastries, baked on site every day. Typical offerings include cookies, cakes, cupcakes, muffins and brownies. Some of the most popular cookies include the divinity cookie, a crumbly cookie version of the traditional divinity candy. Berry's also offers an assortment of breakfast pastries such as croissants and Danishes as well as its renowned apple strudel.
Cakes are a specialty of Berry's. The store makes several types of dessert cakes as well as wedding and birthday cakes. For some longtime residents, no birthday would be complete without a cake from this local institution. Loyal customers come in every year for their birthday cake and some have passed the tradition along to their children.
Berry's makes it a point to get its supplies from other local businesses. However, like many businesses, Berry's is feeling the pinch of today's economic hard times. Basic ingredients have become more expensive and additional surcharges have been added by their suppliers as well. Cardinalli concedes that it makes Berry's products a little more expensive, but she's confident that people know they're paying for quality. We're not over-the-top fancy, she says, but we know that we have a good product. We're proud of what we make and we know our customers would be proud to have our goods on their table.
As the holidays approach, Berry's is gearing up with its seasonal specialties. For Halloween, the store offers pumpkin pastries such as pumpkin croissants, Danishes and tarts as well as decorated cookies. For Thanksgiving, Berry's customers will have plenty of fruit and cream pies to choose from as well as bread rolls. At Christmas time, Berry's will be offering cookies of all kinds plus dessert cakes for folks to share at their holiday parties.
As Cardinalli is proud to say, It's the Berry's you still remember.
Berry's Pastry Shop, 1872 A St. in Antioch, is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The phone number is 925-757-5858.