VINELAND - Ann Cantoni has always had her hands in the dough.
First it was at her late husband Tony Cantoni's pizzeria. For years, the couple ran Upper Krust Bakery in Vineland.
Today, she runs another full-service bakery, Crust 'n' Krumbs, that turns 500 pounds of flour each week into cakes, pies, breads, doughnuts, tarts, turnovers and pastries for Cumberland County customers.
Cantoni, of Vineland, has cultivated a following of regular customers at her bakery, where she greets most by name.
Tony Renza, of Vineland, picked up a cannoli cake he had made for his granddaughter's birthday. Cantoni opened the box and presented the cake with frosting flowers, chocolate sprinkles, candy stars and, of course, the cannoli.
"Cake decorating has gotten a lot more intense with specialty cakes. People expect more," she said.
Linda Machado, of Vineland, is one of the bakery's cake decorators.
Every cake represents a fresh challenge, she said.
"I love it. It's fun. There's nothing better than to see a smile on a kid's face because of your cake," she said.
The bakery gets many orders for photo printing on cakes. The edible images are embedded in the icing.
And it works with fondant to create perfectly molded masterpieces that look photo-ready for weddings, anniversaries and formal functions.
"Holidays are extremely busy. Weekends are always busy. People entertain. We get a good church crowd after Masses," Cantoni said.
The bakery provides the pastry platters for Inspira Medical Center's staff meetings. It also gets orders for party and retirement cakes at local businesses.
The bakery takes custom orders as well, including cupcake cakes, breads or miniature pastry or eclair trays for parties. It uses locally grown blueberries and other fruits in season.
"Running a bakery is a challenge," Cantoni said. "We live on our steady clientele. We draw from Millville, Bridgeton, Hammonton and Mays Landing."
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. Crust 'n' Krumbs was named the 2013 business of the year by the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce.
"It was well-deserving. They're a terrific family-owned business that supports the community," chamber President Dawn Hunter said. "They have a loyal customer base at their bakery. And they're moving forward with the times, using social networks to reach new customers."
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