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Business Buzz: Panificio Navona Finds Its True Home In Newtown



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Business name: Panificio NavonaAddress: The Village at Lexington Garden, 32 Church Hill Road, NewtownOwner: Frank NavoneBusiness background: Frank Navone has been a professional and commercial photographer for 32 years, but about six years ago, he began thinking of diversifying into high quality food service. With inspiration from his grandfather, who owned a bakery in Elmira, N.Y. - where Mr Navone worked as a boy - and his mom, who owned and operated a full service restaurant, he converted part of his cavernous photography studio in a Bethel industrial park into his first bakery cafe. There, he began the process of expanding his creative artistry from visual to culinary. His hope to expand into providing full dinner service, and to add wine and beer to his menu, was not conducive to the Bethel location, so he took advantage of acquiring the space that is now Panificio Navona in the new Village at Lexington Gardens in his hometown of Newtown.Business Focus: Important to Know: Panificio Navona offers wine and beer, along with a wide variety of beverages and a unique, flavorful three bean coffee that Mr Navone says is blended by hand. Beginning July 8, he will be featuring limited Friday and Saturday dinner service for those looking to eat-in or take out, along with select cordials and petite desserts "perfect for folks on the way to or from the theater or other evening activities."Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8 am to 5 pm (kitchen closes 4 pm sharp); Sunday 8 am to 3 pm; beginning July 8: Friday, Saturday 8 am to 3 pm full kitchen service; 3 to 6 pm cafe service only; 6 to 10 pm dinner menu, cordials, and petite desserts.Social Media: FacebookPhone: 203-270-1511Website & E-Mail: panificionavona.cominfo@panificionavona.com.

Mr Navone finds the unique space is not only ideally located for increased customer traffic, but he says the bakery cafe model providing counter versus wait service is unique and does not compete with any other similar food service establishments in town. "This new space is both my vision and my soul," he says. "Our tempo is slow and easy, and since everything is made from scratch and by hand, we don't position ourselves as a fast food provider. We serve our customers quickly, but do not rush our preparation by having a lot of pre-made ingredients sitting around."

The cozy but comfortable atmosphere of the cafe is also the product of Mr Navone's eye for design, with an emphasis on visuals, whether they be items of collectible photographic paraphernalia, signage, antique toys, or artwork. And his kitchen is specifically laid out to facilitate delivering every order as quickly as possible given each dish is made from scratch. There is also a diverse variety of baked goods available to enjoy on the premises or to go.

He hopes to bring in occasional light acoustic and jazz entertainment and plans to keep the cafe open between 3 and 6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays while he changes over the kitchen for dinner preparation. Panificio Navona always looks for opportunities to source menu ingredients locally, and the menu is subject to change based on seasonal or daily availability of those ingredients.

Frank Navone, owner, chef, and creative director of the Panificio Navona bakery cafe is pictured in the recently relocated establishment. His move from Bethel to the Village at Lexington Gardens at 32 Church Hill Road provides an opportunity for Mr Navone to enjoy more customer traffic and to evolve from a quality-driven breakfast, lunch, and coffee establishment to featuring a new weekend dinner menu, beginning July 8, as well as evening cordials, petite desserts, and occasional live music. (Bee Photo, Voket)
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