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"Bakery Boss" brings new life to local bake shop

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: "Bakery Boss" brings new life to local bake shop
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A family-run bakery in Frankfort has been filled with the sweet smell of success ever since Buddy Valastro, TLC's Cake Boss, helped them get back on their feet. The Friendly Bake Shop was featured in a new show on TLC last week. YNN's Cara Thomas spoke with the Viti family about how their lives have been changed forever.

FRANKFORT, N.Y. -- For many years, the Friendly Bake Shop in Frankfort was the best kept secret in the Mohawk Valley.

"I've driven past it maybe every day, for the past 30 years and never knew it until I saw the show," said Herkimer resident, Al Massinger.

The bakery has been in the heart of the village since 1961, run and owned by the Viti family. But as time passed, the storefront became a bit dated and run down.

Tony Viti, one of the owners' sons, said, "Business was kind of slow. There would be days you'd have half an hour or hour when you didn't have anybody in the store."

Desperately needing a way to turn their business around, their cry for help was heard by the one and only Buddy Valastro, a bakery owner and star of the TLC show Cake Boss. The Friendly Bake Shop was featured on a new spin off show, "Bakery Boss," last week, where Buddy and his crew brought life back into this struggling bakery. The show was filmed back in March.

"They were here for about a week. They set up on Monday and were here until about Saturday. But the renovations were all done in a day," says Viti.

The Friendly Bake Shop was given an entirely new look with help from local businesses. Buddy also showed bakery employees how to make updated, colorful, and tasty desserts.

Viti said, "We're definitely doing more than we did before. So, now we've got biscotti, cupcakes. We're doing more individual cakes itself."

And they're seeing an enormous boost in sales. Ever since the show aired, customers are traveling in from all over New York State to try their traditional Italian treats.

"We were on our way to the brewery tour so thought we'd stop in and get some cannolis first," said Massinger.

"It's really quite emotional. It's a great family story. So, as the show finished, I just said to my kids ‘come on, let's go, let's jump in the car and see if they're open,’" said New Hartford resident, Suzanne Bakiewicz.

Bakery employees said if it weren't for the show, the Friendly Bake Shop wouldn't have been open much longer. But now their future is looking sweet, hoping to bake tasty treats for generations to come.

Customers said having a local business featured on a national network is a major boost for the community. They predict The Friendly Bake Shop will now be a destination for tourists in the Mohawk Valley.

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