Whole G Bakery Opens Downtown CafeBY Paul Bass | NOV 4, 2014 1:00 PM
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PAUL BASS PHOTOS
Fresh coffee and hangout space have returned to Pitkin Plaza—along with the aroma of fresh-baked German bread.
The bread and the new public space come courtesy of Andrea Corazzini and Kiara Matos, pictured above cutting the ribbon Monday on the new G Cafe in Pitkin Plaza, that brick idyll of new urbanism bordered byO’Toole’s bar, Devil’s Gear bike shop, and the 360 State office tower.
G Cafe occupies the space that the popular Bru Cafe inhabited until 2012.
Besides serving coffee and tea and breakfast and lunch, the new cafe features German specialty breads baked fresh on Hamilton Street, where Corazzini and Matos run the artisanal Whole G Bakery. (Read about that operation here.) They opened their first coffeeshop-bakery hangout in Branford. Their new New Haven outlet, a storefront in the historic Palladium Building, will employ six to 10 people, according to Corazzini. It will stay open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, 7 to 5 on Saturdays, and 8 to 2 on Sundays. Juan Salas-Romer, who has amassed a local commercial real-estate empire (read about that here), owns the building, which is on Orange Street near the corner of Chapel.
A crowd gathered for Monday’s ribbon-cutting, including Town Green Special Services District’s Chris Ortwein, who noted the importance of filling a “key building” on Orange Street. She’s at right in the photo with Clay Williams, center, and Stephen Fontana of the city’s economic development office. “You have great product,” Fontana told the cafe owners. “Between product and location, you should be fine.”
The G in the business’s name “stands for German and for grain—and for good,” remarked Corazzini, a native of Abruzzo, Italy. He said his breads have more seeds and whole grains than traditional breads. German breads often take longer to make as well, he said, rising up to seven hours before going into the oven. He estimated that he’ll have 35 people total working at his bakery and two cafes.
Barista Patrick Rosenbeck offered the crowd samples of some of the bakery’s other treats, including chocolate mousse cake, double-chocolate muffins, coffee-flavored eclairs, raisin-and-chocollate mini-muffins, and hazelnut puffs.
Miguel Bush worked on sandwiches in the kitchen in the back.
They and other employees will answer day to day to manager Maria Corina (at center right in photo), who grew up in Venezuela, then Branford. She previously headed the mail-order department at Willoughby’s, after working for the New York City International Film Festival.
Co-owner Matos is also a potter, whose work (pictured) is part of the landscape.