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Fremont Bakery celebrates 50 years

Tony Fallico recalls the first day he opened his bakery. Outside It was sunny and mild. Inside, sales were brisk.

"The minute I opened up, it was very good," he said. "Customers were waiting for a bakery to come into that area."

In 1961, the store occupied the corner of Manlius Center Road and Butternut Drive. In 1971, Fallico was forced to relocate after a fire burned down the bakery. He's been in East Syracuse ever since.

"I still get people in East Syracuse asking why it's named Fremont Bakery. [They say] it should be named East Syracuse Bakery," Fallico said. "When I moved down here (to East 2nd Street), people knew Fremont Bakery. I would lose business if I ever changed the name."

From the onset, Fremont Bakery offered a variety of donuts, fresh breads, and, for a time, even pizza. The

real selling point, however, are the cakes. Fallico said if it weren't for his cakes, the business may not have survived this long. On the weekend the fire broke out in 1971, he had 23 wedding cakes on order; business he

had to pass to competing local bakeries.

"Naturally, I didn't want to disappoint any brides," he said.

'Mothers waited for Fremont to reopen so they could order their daughter's wedding cakes. Some ordered a year in advance, just to be on the safe side.

"The building wasn't even finished," he said.

Fallico established a solid reputation early in his career, and attracted not only brides and businesses, but also local celebrities such as TV celebrities Mike Price and Maureen Green, and national stars including members of Fleetwood Mac and boxing promoter Don King. He wasn't afraid to take risks and was the first baker in the area to offer "picture" cakes, which could spread across a full sheet cake compared to today's machines that limit the photo size to 8-inch by 10-inch. He was also the first baker in Syracuse to make a fountain cake and made national news for one of his daughter's wedding cakes. It formed an arch across two tables placed parallel; bride and groom were photographed standing in the aisle beneath the cake.

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