Saturday, 17 August 2013 00:00
Franz Steiner’s eyes light up when he talks about baking. He says he loves the daily creativity of baking special requests for the many events in people’s lives, and he even loves making the daily freshly-baked favorites that people love and keep coming back for—pecan rings, breads, Irish Soda Bread, pastries, pies, cakes and cookies of all kinds. He says “the most popular items are jelly donuts and Melt-a-Way coffee cakes.”
When growing up in Austria, it was expected that as the oldest son in his family he would enter his father’s profession. “We lived above my father’s bakery and I loved spending time downstairs with my father at work,” says Steiner as he fondly recalls those early days helping his father and learning from him.
Steiner earned a Master’s Degree in Baking at school in Salzburg—that level was required if you owned a bakery and trained others in the profession— and then returned home to work in his father’s bakery. After he got married, Steiner and his new bride emigrated to the United States. “I worked as a baker in German bakeries in New York City, in Queens and later on the south shore of Long Island before taking a position at the Milleridge Inn in Hicksville,” recalls Steiner.
In 1979 he learned about the opportunity to purchase a long-established bakery in Manhasset. “I was excited about owning my own business. I liked the location of the store and I really liked Manhasset,” he explains. “I would have loved to grow up here. It’s like ‘Home Town, USA,’” he adds.
When he first bought the business, he expanded it by supplying German delicatessens in Queens and New York City with breads, rolls and donuts. When delivery men were no longer available, he suspended that part of the business. However, he still supplies the Manhasset Delicatessen across the street with baked goods.
Important to his success, he believes, is that “I buy and use only quality ingredients for my baking. I offer fair pricing and stand behind all products. I use recipes from Austria, Germany and the recipes I have collected over my years as a baker.”
His teenage daughter Julia enjoys coming to the shop on weekends to help out and Steiner says he loves having her there, just as he helped his own father. Steiner’s mother-in-law comes from Austria every year at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter and loves to help with baking the varieties of cookies available at the shop. “I am proud to say that all my employees have been with me for more than 25 years,” adds Steiner.
Submitted by Manhasset Chamber of Commerce. www.manhassetny.org