Metro, Food, Business, Newton

Newton’s Bakeries Draw New and Old Customers to Annual Crawl

This weekend, Newton’s second annual Bakery Crawl event drew people from across Newton’s villages to the city’s bakeries, where customers could try a wide array of treats. 

“We love the sense of community,” David Harnik, owner of The Dining Car, said. “We love this pretty little village and all of, many regulars who come into our restaurant many times a week, sometimes many times a day.”

Harnik said that, including the regular customers, the crawl brings additional customers from publicity surrounding the initiative.

Paula Kirrane, owner of The Icing On The Cake for over 30 years, said that although her business has been bustling for decades, the Bakery Crawl has brought in countless customers who say they “never even knew you were here.” 

The Bakery Crawl has allowed countless Newton residents and tourists to discover shops that aren’t as well known in Newton, according to Kirrane. 

“We love being part of people’s families,” she said. “We’ve had opportunities to make children’s first birthday cakes, and then they come back and order their wedding cakes from us.”

Kirrane said that, ultimately, the appeal comes from the food they sell.

“It’s a high-quality product that, you know, we sell, and that we can make people so happy with it is wonderful,” she said. “Who doesn’t love a cupcake?”

Family owned and in-business since 1954, staple Antoine’s Pastry Shop offered a buy two cupcakes, get one free deal for the occasion. Meeting some new faces to add to their loyal customer base, the crawl has proved rewarding even for long-established institutions. 

With the holiday season fast approaching, the Bakery Crawl also allows Newton bakeries to promote their upcoming holiday deals and specials to the community.

Several business owners expressed their profound appreciation for the Bakery Crawl and its organizers. The event provides the community with the opportunity to support local businesses and gain a better sense of the local bakery scene. Bakeries gain valuable publicity and potentially new regulars to add to their rotation, owners said.

SALT Patisserie, located in Newton Centre, is another local business that participated in the crawl.  

SALT’s clientele typically includes devoted regulars, who stop by more than once a week for tasty challah bread, brioche buns, and cookies, according to Audrey Serna, an employee. 

She said that the crawl brings in a lot of new faces and customers she hasn’t seen before, and it allows people to walk by and check things out. 

“The exposure, mostly, I think that because this is our only location and we’ve only been for a year we’re still getting people in and outside of Newton that haven’t really stopped in yet. So the bakery crawl kind of allows you to walk by and check things out,” Serna said.

October 1, 2023