File this one under “reasons to take your kid’s first job very seriously.” It feels like something right out of a feel-good movie!
Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe, at 101 East broad Street in Westfield, (Bovellas.com) has long been a staple of the Westfield community, and THE place to go for outstanding baked goods.
Owner and operator Ralph Bencivenga was a Westfield High School student when he began working at the bakery for the bakery’s founder Michael Bove. Bove became a mentor for the young man he saw with great potential for the business, and he eventually sent Bencivenga to a highly regarded baking academy. Upon his return, Bencivenga continued at the bakery, helping to build Bovella’s already stellar reputation. (Tearing up yet?) The two artists worked together for 20 years, with a crew of outstanding chefs, bakers, and staff, building the business into one of the premiere bakeries in the area.
When Bove passed away in 2008, Bencivenga was determined to continue to grow the business under the core principles his mentor and friend had taught him. His new mission was to introduce a European-style café to its existing selection of cookies, pastries, and cakes. Today, Bovella’s is no longer a mere bakery. It is now a much sought-after destination, offering a pleasant spot for patrons, both loyal patrons and first-timers, to sit and enjoy a coffee, espresso, or gelato after an evening at one of Westfield’s many eateries. I love this quote from the bakery’s website, “All of this from the mind of a young Westfield teen who began his time at Bovella’s washing dishes over 25 years ago. Somewhere above, Michael Bove is smiling proudly.”
“Mr. Bencivenga prides himself with his commitment to customer service, as well as his continued vision of a family-oriented establishment, which uses only the finest and freshest ingredients available. The only way to appreciate this hidden gem is to stop in, and try it yourself.”
I don’t know which part of this story is strongest for me . . . . the pull of the heartstrings at how two people can surprisingly and dramatically touch each other’s lives, or the pang of hunger and the desire for something sweet and delicious.
Did you know that Bovella’s Pastry Shop’s FaceBook Page has Surpassed 10,000 Likes? Be sure to head over there and show your support!