Made in Vancouver: This Italian bakery has been in business for nearly 25 years

Apr 28 2021, 6:53 pm

Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.

Opening a small business takes an enormous amount of effort and a passion that disregards the high risk involved.

It’s even harder to stay open once an entrepreneur begins their exciting journey. Hopefully, success can be found year after year, and maybe even decades. This kind of success resulting from the true pursuit of happiness is sustained through the engagement with a loyal customer base that supports local.

Marco Cornale’s bakery —  Fratelli European Bakery — will soon be celebrating a quarter of a century since it first opened.

Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local bakers. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses and artists, we talked to Marco Cornale, starting at the beginning and where he owes his success. 

24 years ago, in 1997, I opened our doors on Commercial Drive in Vancouver,” Cornale told Daily Hive.

“I had a vision of seeing a customer walk through our door, maybe picking up that one thing, then looking around the shop and saying ‘I will take one of those, and maybe one of those and so on.’ It’s so funny cause after 24 years that’s still the case.”

Customers definitely kept coming through the doors, exploring the bakery favourites of pastries, breads, and cakes. The demand created so much success there was a need to expand operations.

I opened a second location in Sapperton, New Westminster in 2013,” Cornale told us.

“Both locations are very much a community based business that receives so much local support and in turn we try and support our local community as much as we can throughout the past 24 years.”

Many businesses can have drive, passion, and a great product, but that initiative to support the community is much of the reason for the long and ongoing success of Fratteli. It seems they are giving to Vancouver what they get from it, and it’s an amazing lesson for aspiring entrepreneurs.

For Cornale, this is really made by possible by those that work at Fratteli European Bakery.

I have to thank my amazing staff I have had over the last 24 years, some have come and gone, but some are still with me, every single person has made an impact and contribution to the success of the bakeries, I wouldn’t be here without them,” he said.

The savoury goodies and tasty treats at Fratelli are all made-in house by this incredible staff.

Of course, there are Italian classics like cannoli, cannoncini, or biscotti — but there also many exciting new creations to explore and try.

We try to keep up with the changing trends over the years, and offer a wide variety of cakes, pastries, cookies, biscotti, breakfast pastries, breads and so much more,” said Cornale.

It’s an important and impressive testament to Fratelli’s keen eye for innovation. No business remains successful for 24 years without adapting, and it’s a great lesson for any small business.

They’ve always kept things interesting at Fratelli European Bakery — and always delicious. They’ve survived and thrived for this long, and even through a global pandemic, Cornale and the Fratelli team are looking ahead.

They know with the same local support they’ve always cherished, they can continue putting a smile on everyone’s face and a delicious item in their hand.

“Thank you to our loyal customers, especially during these difficult times, but rest assured we plan to stick around for another 24,” Cornale said.

Daily Hive

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