PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Easter is the busiest season of the year for Lincoln Bakery in Bellevue.
“I’ve been on this oven for a long time,” says owner Joe Porco.
He bought the business from his father in 1978.
But every season, his employees come up with something new.
“I give these guys a lot of credit because they’re always coming up with new stuff,” he said. “And I give them the freedom to make different things and be creative.”
What appear to be large candy eggs really aren’t.
“They’re cakes,” the owner says. “Some of them are yellow batter, and we put a yellow filling in them. Some of them are chocolate with chocolate pudding filling in them.”
This season, they’ll sell up to 800 loaves of Easter bread, or paska.
Porco says his bakery scales back at the beginning of Lent, when people give up sweets.
But after a couple weeks, he says, “They try, but I’m glad they don’t have great willpower, which is good.”
Meanwhile, Easter is also the busy season at Valos Candy Shop in Arnold.
Linda Calcagno is the manager of the shop, which dates back to 1947. So, what sells the most?
“Chocolate bunnies at Easter,” she says. “That’s the favorite.”
Cam Malcolm is a pastor in Natrona Heights. He says he comes to this shop because, “My wife says this is the best place. So, I listen to my wife.”
The place where they make the candy is just down the road, a factory where rivers of chocolate flow. Owner John Mandak says the inventory varies year to year.
“You don’t know which ones are going to be the hot items that particular year,” he explains. “But you take an educated guess and go from there.”
He says he was looking for a restaurant in 1989 when, “Somebody mentioned the candy store to me, and I came and looked at it. And I looked at it again. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. God looked after me, and things worked out.”
Meanwhile, Linda Calcagno discusses the proper way to eat a chocolate bunny.
“Just bite the ears off,” she says.