Baker’s move is big news

When a beloved bake shop closes in a neighborhood, everybody notices, and when Carl and Anna Marretta closed their Bell Boulevard store after 32 years, it made local headlines not just in Bayside; it was news throughout Queens.
Everyone fondly remembers the nice people up front who served them their coffee and pastry, but the beating heart of every bakery is seldom seen - the baker.
It turns out that “Mo,” the baker from Marretta’s, has found a new home just a block away, in Bagels & Bake, at 40-15 Bell Boulevard.
They have been around “under the green canopy” they proclaim, for 18 years, according to owner Gil K., who has announced Mo’s arrival in print ads and banner signs on the signature canopy.
He hopes that some of the faithful who trekked to Marretta’s for coffee, pastries and those special-occasion cakes over the years will make Mo the “pie-d piper” of Bell Boulevard.
Bakers are a special breed of chef. They toil, while most people sleep, in a world of heavy sacks of flour and sugar, King-Kong-sized kitchen utensils and sweltering heat - even by culinary standards.
It’s hard to figure why anyone would do it (please don’t say, “Because they knead the dough”) and like the master masons of the Middle Ages, they come and go as they please.
Perhaps that’s why Gil is reluctant to discuss Mo, other than to say he’s baking away in his shop.
When Mo finally responded to a request for an interview, all he would say was that he was schooled in his native Egypt, worked at Marretta’s for 18 years and “that was all my stuff.”
After all, he had to prepare for a hot night’s work. Who could blame him for being a little crusty?
So, if you are one of the multitudes who felt a donut-hole in your heart when Marretta’s closed, allow your spirits to rise. The man who actually created many of those guilty pleasures you enjoyed is still around, in the kitchen of Bagels & Bake.

More from Around New York