The inviting aroma of freshly baked goods greets customers in the few short hours the Panificio Novona bakery is open each day. Besides the bakery items, the cafe is designed around owner Frank Navone's favorite things.
Looking up, bicycles and flags from many different countries hang from the ceiling. There is a sense of history about the place, with artifacts and pieces from Navone’s life presented for the customers admiration.
When the doors first opened in November 2011, Navone was trying to recreate his Grandfather’s dream. As a young child, Navone remembers helping his Grandfather in his bakery and thinking that someday, he would have a bakery of his own.
The small cafe also highlights Navone’s photography studio and the folk art business that he has shared with his wife of over 25 years. The artwork calls to be explored while waiting for baked goods, or while sitting in one of the many seating areas. In some, friends gather, while others enjoy the fast wi-fi internet access.
“Frank has a collective space set up. You come in an industrial room and you feel like you are at home,” Tom Carruthers, local film buff and organizer of the recent 2012 Film Festival, said.
Panificio Navona offers a wide variety of sweet and savory treats such as pound cakes, thin pizza slices, macaroons, scones, muffins, 10 grain bread, cookies, and croissants, to name a few.
Attesting to the quality of the food, Carruthers said, “Panificio Novona has some of the best artisan baked pizza in town!”
On Sunday mornings in the spring, families and friends come together to watch as the hundreds of cyclists zip through the industrial park. Afterwards, they can be found winding down with a drink, baked treat, and friends.
During the week, there are specials. On Tuesday, one may find spicy cheese biscuits. On Wednesday, mini herb quiche with three cheeses are served. Thursday’s egg and cheese sandwiches on baker’s choice bread inspired local chef, Michael Bick of Some Things Fishy Catering, to announce, “You will never want to eat another egg sandwich anywhere else. It’s like a soft pillow of food.”
The doors of Panificio Novona, which means Bakery of Navone in Italian, is open Tuesday-Friday from 7-11 am and on Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. The bakery is located in Bethel off Route 53 inside the Francis J. Clark Industrial Park.
“When you come here to the bakery, there are lots of good things, and there is nothing else like this in town. It puts other coffee places to shame,” Bick said. “Everything here is set up to welcome you in.”