Bethel Bakery anticipates sweet opening tomorrow in North Strabane
A section of North Strabane Towne Center, almost unfathomably, is about to get even sweeter.Bethel Bakery, the iconic Bethel Park shop, will open its second location at 8 a.m. tomorrow in the shopping center off Washington Road (Route 19). It will be next to Cyprowski Candy Co., Country Confections Chocolates - the new name for what had been Country Confections Chocolates - not far from the intersection with Weavertown Road.This should be a whirlwind week for the new bakery. After tomorrow’s launch, staff will begin taking holiday orders Tuesday with the first pick-ups available Wednesday.The bakery is occupying space previously used by Country Confections. When the respective owners completed a deal in August, they decided to renovate the single shop into two stores and storefronts. Three months later, sugar abounds in adjacent businesses.All Bethel Bakery items will be produced at the Bethel Park site, where, according to co-owner John Walsh, “we have all of the equipment and processes in place.” The goodies then will be transported to North Strabane, across the Allegheny-Washington county line, where finishing touches, in some instances, may be applied.John Walsh and his wife, Chris, have owned Bethel Bakery since Jan. 1, 1991. His parents, Morris and Anna Walsh, launched the business in August 1955 on South Park Road, before relocating three years later to its existing spot on Brightwood Road. The elder Walshes are retired and living in Bethel Park.Barb Cyprowski owns Country Confections, which makes gourmet apples and candies on site. She rechristened her operation in September, and has been comfortable with development of the bakery from the start.“Our products complement each other, and while Bethel Bakery speaks for itself, our area is in desperate need of a bakery,” Cyprowski said three months ago, when the plan was announced.“Country Confections Chocolates is our deal. But for years, we’ve wanted to add to our game. We feel this is the time to do it.“The two sides colaborated at a mutually fortutuitous time. John Walsh said he and his wife had considered a second location “for a while.” Then last spring, he said, a customer called the store with an order and added, “If the owner ever wants another place, I’m in real estate.“Walsh called and asked the agent whether she knew the Country Confections owner. “She said, ‘Yes, she’s a friend,’ and texted me contact information.“Walsh and Cyprowski talked for 45 minutes.“I decided I have to see this place,” he said. “Barbara told me in five years, she didn’t need 4,300 square feet to do her business. She was going to downsize, and downsizing meant creating another storeroom.”“We were at the end of our lease,” Cyprowski said at the time. “We didn’t need all that space. His ears perked up and he said, ‘Maybe we’ll take the other side.’“Hours at the new Bethel Bakery, as well as the original, are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. A 61-year tradition - closed on Sunday - will remain intact.