After nine months of construction, a $725,000 investment and a lot of restless nights, Roy Auddino has finally opened Auddinos Bakery-Cafe.
The 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which takes over the former Fuddruckers at 3560 Fishinger Blvd., offers a smorgasbord of fresh-baked goods, coffee, gelato and casual meals.
The open interior features an abundance of bakery cases, shelves full of imported goods and three distinct dining areas that seat a total of 150 people.
“People have been waiting a long time,” Auddino said.
It’s been 44 years since Auddino’s parents, Mike and Rosa, opened a small retail bakery in the Northland area.
They later transitioned into what is now Auddino’s Italian Bakery, a wholesale plant off of Interstate 71 on the North Side. There is a small carryout store attached, but it has no seating.
Roy Auddino said he sees the cafe as a chance to introduce a whole new generation of diners to the family’s brand and many new items in a relaxing atmosphere.
His passion is pastry. One featured item is a “doughssant,” a homemade croissant that’s deep-fried and covered in chocolate or a doughnut glaze.
Traditional doughnuts also are part of the lineup, as well as many classic Italian desserts: tiramisu, almond paste cookies, or amaretti and cannoli.
Auddino also is in charge of making the homemade gelato, eight flavors in all, including hazelnut, strawberry, vanilla and mocha.
Savory items include a lineup of sandwiches, soups and salads. Auddino also hired Lisa Early, who once owned Dodson’s on Broadway in New Lexington, as a chef. Early, who trained at the Columbus Culinary Institute, said her specialty is pizza, made from fresh dough and house-mixed sauce.
Auddino stresses the fresh factor.
“Fresh is key,” he said. “You can tell the difference.”
While the Mill Run area has had its share of ups and downs in the recent past, Auddino is upbeat about the location, which is close to a number of large corporations, medical offices and Interstate 270.
He said about 28,000 cars pass by the store every day.
“It’s stood the test of time,” Auddino said. “The community’s been revamped. I think the support is there.”
He said there’s another important component to the story: Taura, his wife.
The two met 20 years ago at the Italian Festival, when it was held at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The Auddinos ran a bakery booth while her family, Capuano, which owned Cappy’s, sold pizzas.
Auddino finally got the courage to ask his future wife out.
“After our first date, that was it,” Taura Auddino said, adding that the two have been married just shy of 18 years and have five children.
She helped out at the pizza place and later worked alongside her husband at the family bakery.
Now a library aide at St. Brendan Catholic School, Mrs. Auddino said she looks forward to helping out at the cafe.
“I’m ready,” she said. “I love working with people.”
For the time being, there is no alcohol served at the cafe, but Auddino said he is considering acquiring a license to sell beer and wine.
The place is open for breakfast, lunch and early evening hours six days a week. It is closed Sunday. For more information, call 614-850-0099.