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Bakehouse Bakery & Cafe •Featured•

Address
152 S.Wyoming Avenue, Kingston, PA, United States, 18704
Telephone
570-714-2253
Logo
Profile in Business Excellence
Frank DeViva

 Written By Dick Hawley

    In the following interview, the responses of Frank DeViva, of the Bakehouse in Kingston, Pa., encapsulate my working definition of vision, as it relates to the entrepreneur who wishes to succeed.

    The IndependentNEPA, Hawley: I've watched you birth the Bakehouse. The doors have remained open for the last two years, and you have a steady flow of repeat customers coming through every day. Where did all of this come from?
    Bakehouse, Frank: I've always had the philosophy to "attack life." I began my first bakery in Long Island, and shortly after opening that one in 1989, I opened a second one.
    Bakehouse, Frank: My vision was to create an environment that was family-friendly. I wanted a place where individuals would be comfortable to hang out, they'd become my "peeps." My goal was to turn coffee customers into friends who would, in turn, create new friendships with each other.
    IndependentNEPA, Hawley: Where were you before the Bakehouse?
    Bakehouse, Frank: I was working at Wegman's, owned a trucking company, and maintained two stores for a while.I was literally working about 120-130 hours a week in Long Island. My "attack life" philosophy drove me to work those hours. It wasn't until my wife, Patty, said to me one day,  I feel like a single parent," that I realized my life was out of balance. I almost missed one of my daughter's birthday parties. I value my family so I made some drastic changes.
    IndependentNEPA, Hawley: What drastic changes did you need to make?
    Bakehouse, Frank: I decided to sell the two bakeries on Long Island and begin a new chapter of my life by starting DeViva Trucking Company. I went from baking the dough to delivering it, which reduced my working hours from 130 to 90 hours a week.
    IndependentNEPA, Hawley: What steps did you take to learn what you needed to open the Bakehouse?
    Bakehouse, Frank: My preparation for production and management came from my training at Wegman's. I went back to school full-time to earn a degree in Information Technology from King's College and earned a 4.0 GPA in the process…while still with Wegman's full time.
    IndependentNEPA, Hawley: So you mixed a variety of java blends and an assortment of bakery delights with hungry individuals who have a taste for a NYC-type environment.
    Bakehouse, Frank: My goal to turn coffee customers into friends has happened. I can cite many different individuals with a variety of backgrounds who were complete strangers to each other until they began sipping hot coffee at the Bakehouse. The payoff is that I am their mutual friend.
    IndependentNEPA, Hawely: How is managing your own business different from work in the corporate world?
    Bakehouse, Frank: Some people said that I was crazy to quit my lucrative corporate position in NJ to start the Bakehouse. But my response was, "I'd be crazy not to quit and trust God to bring things together." That's the demonstration of trusting in God for those things that were out of my control. I maintained an aggressive prayer life through the whole process.
    The Bakehouse is a venue to express my passion, commitment, and values without compromise. Those things always seemed to be diluted when I worked for someone else. I couldn't "attack life" DeViva-style when I was on watch for someone else. Now, I can demonstrate my commitment to my values personally.
    IndependentNEPA, Hawley: What's been the result?
    Bakehouse, Frank: God has blessed me so much that I can honestly say that I have loved my life from one end to the other.

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