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Belmont Shore To Benefit From Passing On Greek Tradition |

Belmont Shore To Benefit From Passing On Greek Tradition

Baking is a skill passed from father to son in the Pietris family.

Fanis Pietris said his great-grandfather started making breads in Greece in 1930. Fanis’s grandfather and namesake, Fanis Pietris, opened a small village bakery in Korinthia in 1973. Eventually, the Pietris family built 20 different bakery and catering locations across the southern region of Greece.

Pietris Bakery, the Greek Bake Shop, is about to launch its first American venture on Second Street in Belmont Shore. The bakery does not yet have a date for its official opening, but is hoping for a soft open within a week. The owners said they are finishing final installations and training local workers on the intricacies of Greek baking.

Fanis said his grandfather specialized in large sourdough breads with hard, crusty shells.

“Some of his bread weighed nearly five pounds,” Fanis said. “The crust gave the bread a longer shelf life, which was important for Greek villagers.”


George (left) and Fanis Pietris at the new family bakery.

—Gazette photo by Amy Orr

Since the 1970s, the bakery’s offerings have expanded tremendously.

In addition to breads and pastries, Belmont Shore’s Pietris Bakery will serve breakfast, lunc, and dinner. Fanis said food and coffee will be available from 5 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

“We will serve everything from egg skillets to salads to spanakopita,” Fanis said. “Lots of casual, healthy food, and very authentic. Most of our suppliers are Greek.”

Fanis spoke about his coffee bar with pride, explaining that traditional Greek coffee is boiled in a briki and served with grounds that settle at the bottom of the cup. Regular lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos also will be available.

In addition, the shop will have a My Vitamin Bar juice extractor, a specially designed Greek device that claims to turn fruit and vegetables into juice in five seconds. Pietris also will offer a selection of homemade Pagoto, which Fanis described as Greek gelato.

The idea for a Southern California location originated in October 2016. Fanis’s father, George Pietris, was vacationing and visiting a friend in Long Beach. George found the climate and culture of Belmont Shore very similar to the feel of a Greek village, Fanis said, noting that Greek neighborhoods often center around a street with small shops and restaurants.

Intrigued by the possibilities, George, who does not speak English, brought Fanis to California for additional research. Ultimately, George decided to rent the space on the corner of Argonne and Second, former home of the Urban Table restaurant. A major remodel began, under the supervision of Greek contractor Jerry Polychrones, a Long Beach native, who oversaw previous rebuilds of the property.


Construction is nearing its end at Pietris Bakery on Second Street.

—Gazette photo by Amy Orr

If all goes well here, Faris said, his family intends to expand their operations in Southern California. He said their five-year plan includes additional locations.

Fanis’s brother, Alex Pietris, hopes to help the family business grow. Alex, who was accepted at several American colleges, has opted to attend California State University, Long Beach. Although he will be a full-time student, Alex said he plans to use the family’s bakery for his marketing module.

“We are all excited,” Fanis said. “There are still some last-minute details, but things are almost ready. People have been knocking on the door, asking when we will be open. We can’t wait to let them in.”

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off
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