BRIDGEPORT — Bacon buns, Kugelis and Paczki will once again be sold at Bridgeport Bakery, as a new owner has taken over the beloved bakery that was shuttered after more than 47 years in business.
The bakery, at 2907 S. Archer Ave., closed at the end of October because of owner Ron Pavelka’s medical issues and a desire to spend more time with his family. It was bought by Bridgeport resident Can Lao about a month ago.
For Lao, a 39-year-old pharmacist who has lived in Bridgeport for two decades, owning his own business was a longtime dream. Once he learned his favorite bakery was closing, he approached Pavelka, who he knew from shopping at the bakery.
“Ron is a cool guy and someone I’ve known for a long time,” Lao said, adding that one of the conditions of his purchase of the building and the business was that Pavelka teach him.
“He has agreed to stay and teach me the business. I’m going to continue his legacy,” Lao said.
Pavelka said Lao is “very enthusiastic” and a fast learner.
“I just had a quadruple bypass, but I’m going to go in there as much as I can,” he said.
Lao said the bakery, known for its donuts, bacon buns and ethnic pastries like Paczki has been undergoing a remodeling and is close to being finished. Once that happens, he will alert the city so a health inspection can take place and they can open.
He’s hoping the bakery to be open in the next few weeks, before Feb. 25, which is Paczki Day, and traditionally among the busiest days of the year for the bakery.
Lao said most of Pavelka’s former employees have agreed to work for him, and he also plans to add some Asian pastries.
“I don’t want to compete with Chinatown, but I am Asian. However, my main focus will be on the old bakery,” Lao said.
Pavelka said he’s glad Lao will focus on the traditional treats that Bridgeport Bakery is known for.
“That made us successful,” he said.
He added that he is working on launching a web site for the bakery and that another Bridgeport Bakery location in the future is not out of the question.
“I’d like to open more than one but let’s get this going first,” Lao said. ‘I really think I’m the right guy at the right time for this.”
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