BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY December 22, 2019 6
Conti’s Bakery receives NYS Senate’s Empire Award
BY JASON COHEN
A bakery that has been an institution
in the borough for nearly a century
was recognized last week for its
commitment to the community.
On Thursday, December 12, Senator
Gustavo Rivera honored Conti’s
Pastry Shoppe, 786 Morris Park Avenue,
with the New York State Senate
The award is given to a business
that is a leader in their industry,
promotes economic growth and positively
impacts the community.
“It’s the fi rst time that I’m here,”
Rivera said. “This is the spot and it’s
only been here for 98 years, so you’re
probably doing something right.”
Conti’s Pastry Shoppe owner Safet
Paljevic and his two partners, Christina
DiRusso and Senada Paljevic accepted
the award. The trio took over
the business 17 years ago.
Conti’s Pastry Shoppe has been
open ten decades and is a staple in
the Morris Park and Van Nest neighborhoods.
It is continuing the legacy
established by Augustino Conti, who
opened the shop in 1921.
Conti’s has received awards from
the Edible Bronx, WeddingWire
Couples’ Choice and Bride’s Choice
Awards and has been featured on
NBC and News12 The Bronx.
Conti’s Pastry Shoppe owner Safet Paljevic and his two partners, Senada Paljevic and Christina DiRusso and Senator Gustavo
Rivera. Schneps Media Jason Cohen
The trio spoke with the Bronx
Times about the business and how
they have maintained its success.
DiRusso, 34, who began working
there behind the counter when
she was around 18 or 19, told Sal, 44,
They count on you,
the bakery business,” Paljevic said.
“We were really lucky because
he believed in what he saw,” Di-
Russo said. “He saw passion and
I was very passionate about the
The trio explained that the bakery
was popular, but the product
line needed a little facelift.
So, DiRusso and Senada, 38,
watched videos on how to make specialty
cakes and slowly introduced
those to the store. For decades, the
bakery was known for its cream
pies, but they wanted to offer more.
DiRusso noted people in the
Bronx often had to travel to the
city to fi nd a specialty-layered cake.
Now, with their new approach, they
changed the game in the area.
“We wanted to fi gure out how to
take it to the next level,” DiRusso
Since taking over, the place has
become their second home and often
they are there when the sun
rises and goes down. They have
increased catering and ultimately,
the bakery is a labor of love.
Their goal is to make their customers
happy. Whether its gluten
free food or just getting the order
correct, everything is important,
“We took what was here and we
kind of just beautifi ed it,” DiRusso
said. “We spend more time here
than we do at home.”
“We have a great dynamic,”
Medicare Advantage with
Prescription Drug Plans
$0 or Low Cost Plan Premiums
Health plan options for those with Medicare
and those with both Medicare and Medicaid
Call for eligibility and enrollment
about the opportunity to take over
Paljevic, whose background is
in real estate, took a leap of faith
and purchased the eatery.
“I didn’t know anything about
So count on us to
keep you going.
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