Cangiano’s Italian grocery shuts doors in Bay Ridge

October 7, 2011 Heather Chin
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At sundown on Friday, October 7, the rumors came true -Cangiano’s, the decades-old market at Ovington and Third Avenuesthat brought fresh-baked Italian bread and specialty goods todinner tables throughout Brooklyn, closed its doors for the lasttime.

Wow. I remember going there with my mom every week to get coldcuts and Italian bread, reminisced lifelong Brooklynite ErinDorso. I hate change.

My goodness, first Hinsch’s and then Cangiano’s, exclaimedSunset Park resident Renee Giordano. Who is next?

The news comes a mere week after Bay Ridge fixture Hinsch’sshut down its Fifth Avenue storefront suddenly,and just a few months after Leske’s Bakery closed

The shuttering of the Bay Ridge store also brings an end to theCangiano’s empire of five stores, the first of which was opened inBensonhurst in 1919 by patriarch Pasquale Cangiano. The StatenIsland branch just closed last summer, in 2010.

Surviving family members cited a change in resident’s shoppinghabits and a lack of interest by the next generation in taking onthe family business.

Back in Bay Ridge, Going Out of Business signs were posted theWednesday before the last day, advertising 50 percent off on allitems. Word was slow to spread, but as it did, the staff atCangiano’s – who are now part of the growing ranks of theunemployed – were doing a brisk business. By Friday morning, theovens were shut off and nearly all of the bread was gone.

I loved to get bread here. It’s very delicious, unique, and Ican’t find it anywhere else, said Ridgeite Larisa Kutuzova as shestocked up on jars of marinated mushrooms and other non-perishablesthat were the last to go from Cangiano’s once-brimming shelves. Iwould always use it for gifts. My daughter loves it, [especiallythe ones with] seeds. Now there’s no other choice [in the area] forbread.

People lined up during their lunch breaks and after school.Seniors on a stroll walked by and opened their eyes wide when toldthat the long lines were not for a good kind of sale.

Our staff is always going there, said Helen Reyes of the Guildfor Exceptional Children, whose employees went out to see it forthemselves when they heard the news. I know my family, we alwaysget the pizza dough and sauce to send back home [to Oklahoma]. Theyhave the best bread and rolls.

The change in the landscape of Bay Ridge and Brooklyn businessesis expected for such an old neighborhood, said localpreservationist Victoria Hofmo, but still hard to see happen.

We are old school and these are originals, not nostalgia. Thisis real, Hofmo explained. The authenticity is very hard to seego.


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