Classic Cake, one of the region's largest bakers, opens its flagship retail location on Oct. 31 at 1617 JFK Blvd., a ground-floor space at One Penn Center at Suburban Station that years ago was a Marathon Grill location.
It's much more than a bake shop. It's also an all-day cafe.
In addition to a full line of cakes, pastries, cookies, and chocolates, this Classic is set up with various stations. At the front door is a section of hot sandwiches keyed to the time of day (breakfast sandwiches, bowls, and wraps; panini pressed to order, etc.).
There's a coffee bar, a case full of house-made gelato, grab-and-go fridges with salads, sandwiches, and soft drinks, and work spaces where customers can watch pastry chef Robert Bennett in action. Bennett, Classic's culinary director, was Le Bec-Fin's executive pastry chef for 14 years.
Across the hall, Classic is setting up additional lounge seating.
Speaking of Le Bec-Fin: Classic is selling Georges Perrier's celebrated crab cakes on a bun.
Classic operates a retail location in Cherry Hill as well as a commercial bakery in Port Richmond. It was founded in 1982 in Audubon, N.J., by Carol Neulander, Judy Stern, and Lynn Rothenberg but changed hands several times over the years.
Barry Kratchman bought the company 11 years ago and built it into a regional player. It bakes cheesecakes and other desserts under many private labels.