By Diane Stulga
Thanks to Beach Buns, the aroma of fresh baked breads, pastries and decadent delights are carried on salt air breezes in Surf City once again. Inside the new bakery, as customers peruse the bounty of temptations, a familiar apron clad figure works amid racks of stainless steel trays brimming with baked goods. Robert Padovano looks familiar because he’s been here before. “This is the same location where my father, Bob and I opened the original Big Apple Bakery in 1983,” says Robert proudly with a smile. “The original oven is still in the back.”
Located at 610 North Long Beach Boulevard in Surf City, Beach Buns opened in May 2017. “All our baking is done daily on the premises,” explains Robert. With partners Jaime Antal, Jr. and Kenneth Houghtaling, Beach Buns offers a selection of homemade specialty foods, and handmade sandwiches in addition to an array of fine fresh baked goods, and confections.
This entrepreneurial family success stories of food on and around LBI started in 1959 when Robert’s grandparents, restaurateurs Joseph and Pauline Traina, came to live on 5th Street in Surf City. With their arrival, locals and visitors to LBI experienced authentic Italian cuisine and hospitality at Traina’s Restaurant. Rich with local restaurant history, the location would later become Ryder’s Lobster Pot and eventually The Octopus’s Garden.
By 1972, Robert’s parents Bob and Louise Padovano made their family home in Surf City. Between 1983 and 2012, Robert and his father Bob opened and operated the original Big Apple Bakery in Surf City and Big Apple Bakery in Manahawkin. Manahawkin’s first bakery, Big Apple Bakery quickly became a destination for many on their way to the Island. The families marketing plan has always been simple – just taste it. “We’ve always believed in giving away samples,” says Robert. Inviting people to try their products always turns strangers into regular customers.
Since 1959, food aficionados, casual diners and dessertophiles of LBI and the mainland have experienced the culinary talents, hospitality, service and integrity of Robert’s family. Today, Beach Buns in Surf City continues those traditions.
For more information, call them at (609) 494-2867. Open from 8a.m. to 3p.m. in season.