WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- This Valentine's Day will be a sentimental one for customers of Cerrato's Pastry Shop in West Springfield and those who work there after the recent passing of the man who opened the business more than three decades ago.
From chocolates, to cupcakes, to creamy-filled cannolis, Cerrato's is whipping things up for a busy Valentine's Day.
"When it comes to a specific holiday, we will only have those items for that holiday too, that's the struggle. Customers will be like, 'Do you have any more of those chocolate mousse hearts?' (Shakes head) We only made them for that specific day," said Cerrato's manager Todd Conway.
However, this holiday of love comes with a broken heart for many in the shop after the recent passing of founder Antonio Cerrato, known to everyone as Tony.
Conway said preparing for this holiday just isn't the same without him.
"It's...it's...it's hard, you know? 'Cause he always loved doing it. Truly, the love is in everything he made..." Conway added.
One customer, Joseph Fimognari, decided to stop by on Thursday. He told Western Mass News he and Tony go way back.
"He always took good care of me. I work for a local bank and I always ordered 20, 30 tray of cookies each year and he always took good care of us," Fimognari said.
Conway told Western Mass News that Tony's legacy lives through his family. He said Tony's daughter, Bella, is adamant on carrying on her father's legacy.
"We've talked about her coming here full-time, kind of stepping into the training role to do what her father did. She has the same passion and drive as he did. She's dedicated to the quality," Conway added.
In honor of her father, Bella will make sure he will be remembered at the shop this Valentine's Day.
"She wanted to have a display, so customers can purchase that and take that home with them and enjoy it," Conway said.
Thoughtfully and creatively like her dad, Bella wants customers to get a taste of the one thing her dad loved most.
"She found some stuff that her dad had, the little espresso containers, it's perfect for Valentine's Day. It's two little demi-tosses, so you each can have a small little cup of espresso and enjoy it," Conway explained.
However, customers can be assured that while Tony may be missing, his most important ingredient in every treat will continue to inspire.
"It was all about love. It wasn't about work. It was passion. It was the love of making the pastry. That was what it is, so customers would know that what they got was his passion, his love for the product that he produced," Conway said.