A new bakery may soon be occupying the space that once housed Casa del Dolce on Jericho Turnpike. The New Hyde Park Village Board held a special use hearing on Tuesday night at the village hall for a proposed new bakery/café headed by Garden City Park resident Papasera Phim.
The new bakery, called “SweeTart” – with a play on a double-t – would be located at 1200 Jericho Turnpike, at the South 12th Street intersection. The special use permit would be to add a kitchen to the existing building, which would be located on the main floor.
“We watched the development of that location under the previous owner, we were very excited to see something of the caliber come to our community, saddened to see that it didn’t work out and we’re just hoping that, we’re encouraged, as much as our encouragement that you’ll make a go of it,” mayor Daniel Petruccio said.
Phim stated that his new bakery would sell sandwiches, soups, kitsch and other baked goods.
“I intend to add a double-deck convection oven with hood and an ancillary system.” he said, “in addition to an oven-range and of course, refrigeration, refrigerator, freezer, work benches, and all the other utensils that go with baking, mixer of course.”
The kitchen would be located in the rear of the building in the area originally used for seating under Casa del Dolce. There would be some tables and chairs in the front of the store on the left hand side facing Jericho and in front of the display cases.
“The seating will not be a large number,” Phim said, noting about 10-12 chairs and an emphasis on take-out and delivery. “It would not be significant.”
There would be no other physical alterations to the building.
“I’m really happy with the way the place looks, which is good for me anyhow because I don’t have to teardown walls or anything like that,” Phim said. “What I’d like to do is put some kind of a glass – and if you check with the fire department if that would be acceptable – and do an open kitchen so people can see that it’s a clean place, it’s a place where we work right there and produce right there.”
Previously, Phim was the manager of two bakeries, intending to become an owner of second, but started a family.
“This kind of business requires a lot of time and effort,” he said. “Now I’m looking to go back; I have two children, I’m settled with my family. This has been my passion for a long time, I believe it’s the time to make the transition.”
He currently holds a masters in psychology through a NYC teaching fellows program and has been teaching for the last 7 years. He has been in the baking industry since the age of 15, and both his brother-in-law and nephew are also bakers. Phim noted that at his previous bakery he landed an account from Lindt’s to be their supplier for a new line of cheesecakes.
He intends for the bakery to be open seven days a week for foot traffic and operate during the hours of 7 a.m. to six or 7 p.m., with variances during the summer months. He stated that it takes about an hour for prep work each day to prepare the goods.
“It’s not really going to be an all-night thing,” he said when asked about deliveries, anticipating them after seven or 8 a.m. each day. “My vendors are going to come in when I ask them to.”
The location has an entrance and ramp in the rear of the store for deliveries and putrescible waste will be refrigerated and stored in the basement until pickup.
Phim also intends to offer gluten-free goods at the bakery.
“I kind of believe there’s a big future for that, the thing I need to experiment with are the ratios because when you substitute gluten free items instead of flower and all that, you have to work out the proper ratios,” he said. “I could probably figure out a way of doing it myself; I think it would be a good business decision to do that because there are a lot of allergies and a lot of people are into gluten-free.”
The case was labeled with a SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) resolution along with a negative declaration. The Nassau County Planning Commission will make a judgment on the case within the next thirty days which will then come back to the New Hyde Park Village Board.