Celebrating its 60th year in business in 2019, Campbell’s Bakery is leveraging its brand recognition on New York’s Long Island to increase sales of its popular cakes, cookies, and pastries, including the bakery’s beloved tres leches cakes — voted the best of Long Island. The most distinguished and popular party halls and wedding reception banquet halls recommend Campbell’s to their clientele and use the bakery for catered events. Popular events include weddings, baptisms, and quinceañeras.
“Customers will travel 50 miles to come here for our tres leches cakes,” says Greg Napolitano, who bought the bakery in 1989 with his business partner. “We average 45 to 60 wedding cakes a week, and a lot buy assorted pastries and cookies from us. With weddings and other celebrations, I’ve seen people go big.”
In terms of product development, sandwich cookies are gaining widespread popularity, and Campbell’s Bakery recently introduced a larger version of the Hispanic sandwich cookie known as alfajores — popularized in the United States following the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Americans fell in love with the dulce de leche filling inside alfajores, and this sandwich cookie is gaining steady popularity.
As a successful American baker once said, “people in America love sweet things with delicious fillings.”
This successful bakery has been blending the best of both worlds — Hispanic tres leches cakes and Italian cookies and pastries — under one roof ever since Napolitano, decades ago, adapted to changes in their surrounding neighborhood, as more Hispanic households moved into this Long Island town.
“You can’t believe how many Italian cookies Hispanics buy,” he says. “It’s all a matter of education.”
Starting in December, Campbell’s Bakery put together dozens of cookie trays that customers buy as gifts for family and friends. This is a great promotional idea for boosting holiday sales. “We sell beautiful cookie trays, which are extremely popular during the holidays,” Napolitano says.
Filled cakes are gaining popularity, as well as tres leches cakes topped with more and more varieties of fresh fruits. He also points out that cupcakes are back in swing. “Cupcake sales have skyrocketed,” he says. “We make three or four pans of cupcakes a day.”
“Now on a Saturday, 80% of our birthday cake orders are tres leches cakes, and they are filled and topped with all sorts of flavors,” he says. “Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, mangoes. Our customers love all of that.”
Campbell’s employs six cake decorators who work throughout each day to complete a steady number of orders. The bakery regularly posts about new cake creations on social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to keep customers up to date on what they can find at Campbell’s for their special events.“We have over 2,000 followers on Instagram,” Napolitano says. “You have to change with the times.”