Thirty eight years ago, Tricia Bonner apprenticed with an old German baker in Baltimore, Joe Kauders.
Kauders passed on the secrets of old-world baking: scratch techniques, mixing, recipes.
And Bonner proved to be an excellent student, eventually training new bakers in the Mars Supermarket chain before she and her husband moved to the quiet mountains of Johnstown from the hustle and bustle of Baltimore.
Now, after baking for Ambrosia/Nectar Lounge, the Ramada Inn in Altoona and Rosewood Assisted Living Care, Bonner is going out on her own.
Tricia's Bakery & Cafe is expected to open this week in University Park Plaza in Richland Township.
"This is a dream come true," Bonner said. "It's something I've dreamed of doing all my life."
Bonner credited Ebensburg lawyer and businessman Dino Persio, who has helped her get her own bakery in which she still can supply her current customers. Persio owns the Knights Inn in Richland Township where Ambrosia fine dining and the Nectar Lounge is located.
The new bakery is more than just a couple of ovens: Its expansive, with dough diviers, convection ovens, and all the modern amenities.
The bakery will have eight employees, along with Bonner.
Its menu is mouthwatering, with breads, rolls, bagels, muffins, cookies, eclairs, brownies, turnover tarts, pies, cream pies, meringue pies, cheese cakes, specialty cakes, decorated cakes, and seasonal items such as pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, peach cake, Irish soda bread, sugar cookies and challah bread.
"If you don't see it ... request it ... ask for Tricia," the menu reads.
There will be coffees with flavored creamers, as well as sandwiches and soups.
The inside of the bakery is painted blue with pictures of SpongeBob Squarepants characters. The tables are colorful, and there are lounge chairs near the front window to relax.
"There's not going to be anything like this anywhere," Bonner said. "We'll have a lot of old-world recipes handed down by my family and the baker who taught me."
Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Mondays.
For information, call 814-254-4443 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It's going to be such a great quality product," Bonner said. "Once you try it, you're going to want to come back and try more."