Don’t expect a typical neighborhood store at Hoff’s Bakery, newly relocated to a 100,000-square-foot space in Malden.
“We’re a wholesaler with a retail store that sells desserts at wholesale prices,” said chief executive Vinny Frattura.
Inside the retail store, freezers filled with pre-baked gourmet cakes, individual desserts, dessert bars, and mini-pastries line the walls. Just defrost and serve.
Frattura and his wife, Donna, started the business 33 years ago in a 1,500-square-foot space in Medford. They’s been expanding ever since. Daughter Nicole, 25, and son David, 31, now help run the place.
We talked with Vinny and Nicole.
A. Vinny: We originally went into business to make wholesale pizza. There was a now-defunct bakery in Medford called Hoff’s that was making only cheesecakes. That’s where we got the name. We switched to making cakes. It seemed a more sustainable business. People found us by word of mouth.
A. Vinny: We started with cheesecake, carrot cake, and chocolate cake. We’d walk up and down the streets of the North End. A chef would ask, ‘Do you make strawberry shortcake? A mousse cake?’ That was the beginning of the menu.
Q. The path more eaten?
A. Vinny: Way back, we delivered to white-tablecloth restaurants and hotels around New England. Now we [also] make, bake, freeze, and ship to in-store supermarket bakeries on a national level. It’s made exclusively for them, under a private label, so you’ll never see the Hoff’s brand.
Q. Why Malden?
A. Vinny: We moved 1.1 miles. It was important to keep our 120 employees, many who are longtime with us, and be close to Boston for transportation.
A. Nicole: With both wholesale and retail customers, it’s a tie between our tiramisu and our 7-inch chocolate truffle bomb.
Q. Handmade touch?
A. Nicole: Our truffle bombs are hand-rolled in chocolate ganache, then in chocolate curls, and hand-decorated with a chocolate drizzle.
A. Vinny: Twenty years ago, everyone wanted 10-inch cakes. Ten years ago, it was 7-inch cakes. Now, it’s individual servings. Two years ago, our retail store had none. Now we have 30. People are into ‘calorie conservation.’ But if you want dessert, you want the best. You want it worth every bite.
Kathy Shiels Tully can be reached at email@example.com.