It was time for updates inside and out at Torta Fina Bakeshoppe & Patisserie.
The bakery that has been pumping out deserts for Long Islanders since 1998 has spent 13 years at 80 Deer Park Avenue.
Owner Joe Campbell said that after more than a decade at the Babylon location, renovations were deemed necessary. The work began two years ago with updates to the display cases.
Now, passersby in the village will likely notice the exterior renovations, which were completed last week.
“The outside needed a facelift since all the years we’ve been here,” Campbell said.
The old, gold signage that blended in with the brick storefronts of Deer Park Avenue has been replaced with a standout modern black and white logo and awning.
Most important, of course, are the new products coming out of Torta Fina’s kitchen.
This past June, the sweet shop upped its frozen treat game and began serving homemade ice cream sandwiches. To beat the summer heat, customers can now order chocolate chip cookie sandwiches stuffed with homemade vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, cherry vanilla, mocha or peanut butter ice cream.
Campbell said Torta Fina has also been serving more hard-to-find treats taht many in the village have come to enjoy, like frozen key lime pie slices dipped in dark chocolate and cake pops.
“We started doing them because of the fairs and block parties, but we do them daily and they’ve taken off.”
‘We were lucky’
Throughout its 23-year lifespan, the Torta Fina team have been no strangers to change.
The bakery began in Commack as the New York Biscotti Company, with the name changing the following year.
In 2008, Campbell and Thomas DeStefano, his partner, decided to acquire a shop in Babylon with double the space. They ran the two locations for 10 years, Campbell said, before they decided to scale back down to a single shop, opting for the village location.
“All the restaurants use us for all the specialty cakes,” Campbell said. “It’s more of a family feel when you’re in the village, compared to a strip mall in a regular town. Everyone looks out for each other.”
Last year brought on drastic changes for all businesses.
For Torta Fina, which was considered essential, Campbell said the pandemic saw himself, his partner and a skeleton crew running a curbside pickup operation in a ghost town.
Since that time, Campbell said the bakery has been pumping out more custom cakes than usual.
He said he suspects people are having more gatherings, like backyard weddings, after the COVID-19 pandemic saw many parties cancelled.
“We were lucky, compared to all our restaurant friends that were closed,” he said. “We were lucky to be able to be open.”
Campbell said after he puts in a new floor soon, customers can expect new products fresh from the kitchen.
Up high on the to-do list is a party favorite in which Campbell said the shop recently started to dabble.
“Next year, we’ll probably try to tackle a beautiful freezer showcase and do beautiful ice cream cakes,” he said. “We do those just for family and friends and they’re really cool.”