New Oakmont Bakery location to open in January
Oakmont Bakery owner Marc Serrao announced his new location will be open to start the new year.
“It’s a very exciting time,” he said. “All of our freezers and coolers are all going to be in there within the next month, probably. Our biggest oven is already in there.
“We’re planning on no downtime: close one day here and open there the next day.”
Serrao and his family opened the bakery in 1988. Its location at 531 Allegheny Ave. features a retail space, a separate production building and warehouse facility next door.
They broke ground at the corner of Third Street and Hulton Road in April with plans to have all operations under one roof.
Serrao said at the time, he wanted to open around November to be ready for the holidays.
Issues with permitting, waiting for products and bad weather pushed those plans back.
“The rain hasn’t helped,” Serrao said. “We had some issues waiting for steel to come in. Campbell Construction really worked around everything and kept the project moving along very smoothly. We kind of got a late start.”
More than eight parcels were combined into one 1.88-acre lot. Desmone Architects of Lawrenceville designed the new bakery. PWCampbell of O’Hara is the general contractor.
Other companies involved in the project include Verrico Landscaping of Penn Hills, Advanced Service Plumbing of Verona, Tresco Paving of Plum, Sullivan Kitchen Design of Oakmont and Bonura Cabinets of Plum.
Serrao said the new goal is to be open the first or second week of January, and have some grand opening celebration after everyone is settled in.
The bakery serves between 800 to 1,100 people on a slow day. It averages between 2,800 to 3,200 during the holidays.
Serrao said not having to worry about the transition to the new building while dealing with increased foot traffic will ensure business as usual for the 110 employees.
“Even though we have limited space, especially in our production department, we’re used to everything,” he said. “We know how to switch over for the holidays to make things run more efficiently.”
Traffic concerns at the Third Street site were raised at several council meetings throughout the development process. Some residents are concerned it could cause more congestion along Hulton Bridge.
Serrao said there were several businesses and houses at the intersection before and does not believe his will cause problems.
“It’s not like we’re going from zero traffic there to the bakery,” he said. “We’re replacing it with a business that started in Oakmont and has been in Oakmont for 30 years. The people who are coming across the bridge are already coming across the bridge to us. I believe Sweet Street is going to alleviate the stop-and-start traffic because people will be turning in and turning out.”
Sweet Street is a new street behind the Walgreens drug store. It will connect to a 66-space parking lot to help reduce traffic near Riverview High School, which is across from the new bakery’s Third Street front.
A total of 110 parking spaces were mapped out, a significant jump from Allegheny Avenue’s eight spaces.