Niagara Gazette

February 14, 2014

Village Bake Shoppe owner brightens Valentine's Day with gift of cookies

Village Bake Shoppe owner brightens Valentine's Day with gift of cookies

By Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Valentine’s Day usually comes with flowers, chocolate and teddy bears attached. And sometimes little notes of sweet nothings.

For the residents of Our Lady of Peace Retirement Home, this year’s romantic gesture comes courtesy of a Lewiston sweet shop and some young delivery folks.

The Village Bake Shoppe owners Michael and Lindsay Fiore created and decorated 250 heart-shaped cutout sugar cookies to distribute to the residents with the assistance of the young Mount St. Mary’s Childcare Center attendees.

“I love to make people happy,” Michael said. “I just hope I can shine a little light into someone’s life, to spread some love.”

An additional 80 cookies will be given to the children helpers once they’re finished brightening the world of the seniors at the Lewiston retirement facility.

Four members of The Village Bake Shoppe staff began working on the cookies Thursday morning, a process lasting about five hours as they baked, decorated and wrapped the 330 total sweets for transport.

Giving back to the world around him is one of Fiore’s goals as owner of the Bake Shoppe, located at 417 Center St., Lewiston. He said his parents raised him with a Bible verse from the gospel of Luke as their guide. Luke 12: 48 to be exact, which says, in part, “from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

“I was always raised on that saying,” he said about growing up in Niagara Falls’s LaSalle neighborhood.

Distributing the cookies is just the latest adventure for the little ones at the Lewiston hospital’s childcare center. They’re located across the street from the retirement center and frequent – with cooperative weather, of course – the halls of the residence to make the afternoon of those living at Our Lady of Peace, according to Virginia Wolbert, who serves as director of the childcare center.

It’s part of a program called “Bridging the Gap,” Wolbert said, which brings the older residents together with the young ones in ways that assist both groups of people, young and old.

“When the nursing home opened 10 years ago, we found a lot of the residents were similar to the children,” Wolbert said. “They can see each other through the windows. So we try to go over and visit the residents twice a year, when the weather is cooperating, which has been hard this year. The children write the residents letters and cards twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Easter, when they deliver Easter baskets and the kids dress up as Easter bunnies. This year, we’re doing Valentine’s cards with the cookies.”

Those not living at Our Lady of Peace can take advantage of a Valentine’s Day special of their own at The Village Bake Shoppe this year. Today and Saturday, patrons can buy a piece of cheesecake or cake to share along with two hot drinks for $5.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.