The loyal customers of Alfonso’s Bakery in Cranford (originally a Staten Island icon since the 1970s) held their breath earlier in the year when the beloved bakery (at 200 South Ave. East) suddenly closed its doors. The lights went on again in Spring, but under a new name: Cranford Bakery and Desserts. The Cranford community was buzzing with speculation: Why the name change? Why do they still sell Alfonso’s baked goods? Is the bakery really selling CBD products? Inquiring minds need to know!
So many questions… and some history:
I had my own questions regarding what was actually in the display case of one of Cranford’s favorite bakeries. Was it still the same? What changed and why? And does CBD really mean CBD? My curiosity also stems from my longtime emotional connection to the Alfonso’s Bakery on Victory Blvd in Staten Island. My family home is just up the street and I remember clearly when it opened in 1978! I also remember dying laughing with my friends when the movie Easy Money filmed scenes there in the early 80’s. (“Alfonso’s Bakery and Scungilli” … hilarious!)
Some CBD Answers:
I was surprised with the answers I received the day of the interview with store manager Kaela Hall. The answer is “yes” and “yes”! And for all you loyal Alfonso’s Bakery fans out there– it’s still filled with everything you hold dear. And for the new customers who are seeking a classic bakery offering CBD-infused sweets – this bakery is for you as well!
The talk about cannabidiol – known as CBD – is everywhere. By definition, CBD is “a nonintoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp”. While there remains some controversy over its use – the positive medicinal uses for CBD have also been in the news saying it helps everything from pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, epilepsy, auto-immune diseases, sleep disorders…the list goes on. The compound is also nonpsychoactive – meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis use. This is why many individuals have turned to CBD oils claiming it is a safe and effective use versus its THC counterpart.
When you also read about the latest CBD craze, you find out quickly that no two CBD products are alike. I was pleased to know that Cranford Bakery and Desserts make their OWN CBD oil and it is tested to make sure you are getting nothing but the finest quality oil in all of their products. Here’s more on what you need to know before you visit the bakery again…
The Alfonso’s Connection is Strong:
Before Kaela and I began talking about their CBD products, I learned that the group of owners: Cathy Campitiello, husband Vincent, Joe Puzzo, Kelly Wade, and John Wade all have connections going back to the Staten Island Alfonso family. They decided to take over the business when Alfonso’s found itself needing to focus on fewer flagship stores. That is why the bakery is operating under a different name, carrying a new product line, but still carrying the entire line of quality Alfonso’s baked goods.
Kaela is very excited about the CBD line and their newest products found in the bakery:
We do carry CBD products – it is a “play on words”. Obviously, it is Cranford Bakery and Desserts, but we do have a CBD line as well. There is a wall at the bakery stocked with baked goods infused with CBD. A common misconception is that CBD is marijuana. Actually, cannabis is the umbrella plant and there’s hemp and then there’s marijuana. Hemp is just CBD – marijuana has hemp and THC. CBD is the medical benefits of marijuana without the high. People everywhere are using CBD for medical reasons – it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent and aids in a multitude of health issues.
It also works with a receptor in the brain that assists with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and stress. CBD acts like a “deep breath”. There are no psychological ingredients in it. We send our CBD to a third-party lab and it gets tested for any imperfections and impurities and for THC. We post our test results in the bakery – it’s 99.5% pure CBD. There’s no bacteria, additives, or THC. Our customers like to see that we are really diligent about where our product comes from and what we put into it.
The Potency of the Products:
We have a variety of products. A lot of people like to gravitate towards our gummies because they are cut up for you. Our gummies are 20mg per gummy. We sell them in packs of 20 and customers usually take 1-2 at a time. There’s no real “rule” to CBD products. Everyone reacts differently. Our brownies and Rice Krispie treats are actually 100mg per piece – for pain management or anxiety we recommend cutting into quarters and eating throughout the day. Your intake is personalized based on what ails you.
We want to educate our customers and find out what they are using the CBD product for. If it’s for sleep, then we suggest taking the dose before bedtime as it helps to relax you. It doesn’t act like nighttime cold medicines where it just hits you all at once. The CBD product is very subtle, yet effective.
The owners of Cranford Bakery and Desserts are very hands on with everything CBD and personally meet with the manufacturers of their CBD – it’s purchased from Oregon. The owners have actually toured the factory, met with the producers, and immersed themselves in the literature of CBD oils. They always come back and educate us. We also carry some third- party CBD manufacturer’s products and are required to read all the literature pertaining to them. The more well-versed we are with the products, the easier we are able to discuss everything with our customers. We all take pride in having our CBD tested and knowing all facts about it!
So, you aren’t actually making the CBD? It comes from Oregon?
We DO make our own CBD oil. We buy the CBD isolate from Oregon – so the isolate is powder form of it. That’s why we are able to bake with it and incorporate it into other things. We turn it into butter, an MCT oil which is like a fancy coconut oil…
What exactly is tested when you get it back from Oregon:
The isolate itself. Before we bake with it at all, we get the raw product in, we send it out to our third-party company to test it in California, and they test the pure isolate itself. Then once we get it back, we start baking with it.
All the bakery products in the CBD shop with pink label are bakery products made with Cranford Bakery and Dessert’s own CBD oil:
Yes – the ones with the green dots. That’s how we differentiate if it has CBD in it. The contents are all listed on the back. We try to keep all the CBD products on the side wall – but we do feature the customer’s favorite products near the case – such as our gummies, Rice Krispie treats, brownies, and dog biscuits! We have our own printouts of everything to let people know what CBD is. While people are waiting, they can educate themselves on the product. It’s all going back to reversing the misconception of what exactly they are consuming.
Prices for CBD Products:
Our products are going to be more expensive because we are using top-quality ingredients. These aren’t the same CBD products that are popping up all over convenience stores. These are small-batch, homemade CBD-infused treats. Everything takes time and precision. A double pack of brownies is $16, single $9, gummies are $24 per pack because they are very labor intensive. We make our own gummies – lay each one out on the sheets, wait for them to dry…
CBD Products for Pets, too:
Oh yes, our dog biscuits are very popular here! They help with anxiety: whether it’s during the time you are gone during the day, car rides, lightning storms, fireworks – it’s a deep breath for dogs, too! CBD even works on your older dogs with arthritis and joint pain!
The Interest in CBD Products Continues to Grow:
The owners realized that CBD was going to take off in New Jersey and they are a big believer in natural remedies -this is a steppingstone towards the future of this product. The owners have been in close conversation with the Health Board and they like that we post everything about our products in the bakery.
The Love For Traditional Alfonso’s Baked Goods Will Always Be The Cornerstone:
Yes, all from Alfonso’s on Amboy Road – our location on Staten Island. We get everything from there. They have a massive production of baked good from that location and we get a delivery every morning. We do the cupcakes, cake pops, and cake cones here. We get everything “naked” and then finish the decorating here – like our famous cakes!
Where are the CBD baked goods made and sold:
The traditional and the CBD products are all made in the Alfonso’s bakery in Staten Island. The CBD products are also being sold at the Amboy Road location in Staten Island. It’s doing very well in Staten Island!
If you purchase five or more CBD baked goods, you get 10% off. Since they are so popular, our gummies can also be bought in bulk – 100 for $90.
We have our Alfonso’s pies ready for the holidays – all your favorite flavors. And don’t forget our popular gingerbread houses which are fully decorated with delicious candy! Parents and grandparents are also purchasing the undecorated houses so they can do their own decorating at home. We have our entire bakery case full of the traditional Alfonso’s breads and treats that every enjoys around the holidays!
What would you tell the people in town who may be a little more hesitant to walk in here now that you carry CBD products?
Hesitant to Check Them Out? Don’t be:
Nothing has changed except for the fact we have a wall of small-batch CBD-infused baked goods. We want to be a bakery that can help those who use this oil for natural medicinal purposes. But everything else is the same – your favorite pies, cakes, donuts, cookies, and fresh bread from Staten Island. We really enjoy talking to customers about everything. CBD is becoming more common and we want people to keep an open mind about it. We want to get the word out that we produce our OWN high-quality products. Cranford Bakery and Desserts is very proud about this – just like our other baked goods.
There you have it, folks. If you love Alfonso’s products – you can still take your favorite bakery goods home with you every day. And if you want to – you can leave a little more educated about the newest craze of CBD-infused products as well!!
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