From left, Jerry and Joan Rambach, and Rambach’s Bakery’s new owner April Brown.
The first thing anyone who walks into Rambach’s Bakery will notice is the people behind the counter, dusted in flour and busily rolling, shaping and decorating pastries.
And there’s also the smell of freshly baked breads, doughnuts and cakes.
It’s not the kind of place where food is mass produced; it’s the kind of place where things have been done the same way for almost 60 years.
The original Rambach’s was opened by Jerry and Joan Rambach in New Jersey in 1964.
Some of the recipes, like stollen and Hungarian cheesecake, were handed down by Jerry’s father, who immigrated to the United States from Germany during the beginning of the Great Depression.
He lived in the basement of one of several bakeries he owned, and taught Jerry some of his skills.
It was during Jerry’s first attempt at making an apple turnover that Joan walked into his life.
She was urged by friends to go meet the “nice man working at the bakery” near the shop her parents owned.
Not wasting any time, he shook her hand and asked her out on a date.
“It was a shock because guys didn’t usually do that,” Joan said.
Two weeks later, Jerry asked Joan to marry him, and she said yes.
“I watched everything as he learned for all those years, and after that we opened our own bakery,” she said.
Years later, the couple move to the North Country, a place they often vacationed in, and they brought their bakery with them.
“We moved up here because we wanted to give our kids a better life,” Joan said.
Rambach’s opened in Plattsburgh in January of 1980, and five years later April Brown, the current owner of the bakery, began working there.
The bake shop proved to be a good fit for Brown.
“I had a sister who was a cake decorator there, and a sister who was my manager,” Brown said. “And then, of course, there were the Rambachs. It was like a family.”
It was so much like a family, in fact, that Jerry even named Brown’s daughter.
“Throughout my pregnancy, Jerry kept telling me I was going to have a Christmas baby, that it was going to be a girl, and that I should name her Noel,” Brown said. “It all came true.”
Brown said she loves baking, and that love has come full circle after she purchased Rambach’s in January and opened it in its new location on Peru Street in February.
People who visited the Cornelia Street location can expect the same bevy of baked goods, including butter cookies, danishes, canoli, tiramisu, ponki and babka.
They also make fudge, cookie platters, birthday cakes, wedding cakes and bread.
If you go:
Where: 65 South Peru St., Plattsburgh
Hours: Open daily, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.