DETROIT - One of my fondest memories of growing up in Dayton, Ohio was walking up the street in our neighborhood with my mom and visiting the neighborhood bakery.
The bakery was called Rinaldo's. I can still remember the bakery's smell. Ahhh. Amazing. The person behind the counter would always hand me a cookie. The best. A free cookie? Come on.
We are talking about the 1970s in Dayton, but memories from when you are young stay with you.
I just put Rinaldo's into the Google machine. Could it still be open? Nope. Of course not. After 50 years, that bakery closed its doors about four years ago.
If you drove to Fairview Avenue in Dayton where the bakery was it would seem like Detroit.
That is why Saturday in Detroit, an old, weathered sign caught my eye. The sign along Detroit's street read, "National Bakery." It can be spotted on State Fair Street a few steps west of I-75.
There's not much left on that block. I thought there was no way the neighborhood bakery could be open, and decided to find out.
After parking, I saw the front door was wide open.
Open? It's Saturday. Is someone gutting the place and putting in another Detroit neighborhood weed shop? They'll call this one, "The baked-er-y?" Wait. There's a display case.
The same cookies the nice lady back in Dayton would hand to a 4-year-old Shawn Ley were there in the case, along with rows of other delicious looking things.
There was a lady looking at me funny behind the counter. I learned her name was Violet Cvetkovski. Her husband, Chris Cvetkovski, was in the back, getting ready to put some cookies in the oven.
She yelled to her husband about the "newsman" being there to talk to him. We talked and laughed.
Both have been there baking and selling doughnuts, cookies, cakes and pastries for more than 45 years right here on old State Fair Street.
Yes, National Bakery is still open, but with all of us popping into Sam's, Costco and Meijer for bakery items, this old neighborhood bakery might not be there much longer.
I'll hold my children's hands and walk them in for a cookie. Hopefully, that memory will stay with them for as long as the memories of my childhood neighborhood bakery have been a part of me.
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