Mazurek’s new owner merges tradition and technology
blog by S.J. Velasquez • September 06, 2012 @ 10:25am
Mazurek’s Bakery, located at 543 South Park Ave. in Buffalo’s Old First Ward, has been baking and frying up family recipes for generations, and the new owner—who’s not a member of the Mazurek clan—plans on keeping that tradition alive.
Previous owners of the South Buffalo bakery, Jack and Carol Mazurek, had been looking to sell the business for a while. It took some time, but about a year after listing the property, Ty Reynolds stepped up with an offer to buy the building and the business—including some century-old family recipes.
Reynolds, originally from Illinois but a Buffalo resident for the last 11 years, visited the property just once and knew he had to have it.
He didn’t have any baking experience, admitting, “me and Betty Crocker are best friends,” but his background in restaurant management gave him an understanding of what to expect. After speaking with the Mazureks, he also came to understand what his customers would expect of him: tradition, consistency and scratch-made baked goods.
“It’s all from scratch,” said Reynolds, who hired a baker with 14 years experience to ensure the transition between previous and current owners would be smooth. “There’s no way I’d be able to learn to bake in a couple of days.”
Reynolds added that two staff members who’d worked for the Mazureks will also remain on board, and the previous bakery owners will continue helping out for the next few weeks and around the holidays—especially since Mazurek’s is known for offering 45 different varieties of cookies at Christmastime.
“We hope customers understand that we have the same original recipes, and that Jack and Carol are training us and helping with the transition,” Reynolds said.
This stack of papers is actually part of the generations-old collection of the Mazurek family’s recipes, which will continue to dictate how things are made at the bakery.
Not much will change in terms of edible offerings, Reynolds said. Nothing will be omitted from the menu, but Reynolds is happy to announce a few new additions: Pepsi products and locally-roasted coffee. Down the line, he may add a few new foods, but all the old favorites will continue being sold.
Customers might notice a few other changes, including fresh paint, new flooring, a new cash register that accepts credit cards (Mazurek’s had previously accepted only cash) and a web presence. Mazurek’s Bakery now has an under-construction website and brand new Facebook page. Reynolds said hours of operation could expand to cater to early birds looking to pick up some treats on the way to work. Also, he said that “customers in uniform” (police officers, EMTs, firefighters, military personnel) are invited to come in for a free cup of coffee.
Reynolds knows that new ownership could mean resistance from loyal customers—he even intercepted one call from a confused customer surprised to hear him answer the phone. “You’re not Carol,” the customer told Reynolds, who laughed as he retold the story.
“We are still Mazurek’s,” Reynolds said. And, yes, you can still get your rye bread.