Beloved Hamilton bakery to re-open with new Trenton Catholic Academy connection
By EmmaLee Italia | Correspondent
Loyal customers of the 90-year-old Eet Gud Bakery will be pleased to know the Hamilton fixture will open for business as usual Jan. 16 under new ownership, purchased by someone who has the community’s interests at heart.
Tracey Destribats, director of advancement and development for Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, purchased the bakery at 2113 Hamilton Ave. from the family that started it, in the hopes of continuing the landmark’s tradition of quality products, as well as lending support to the school’s academic success.
“I was a customer first,” Destribats said, explaining that she would joke with one of her TCA colleagues about buying the bakery, which went on the market two years ago, as a means of raising more money for the school. “Then I actually took a look at the bakery and ended up buying it.”
Eet Gud Bakery, founded by the Schaffener family in 1928, and TCA, which began as St. Anthony High School and then McCorristin Catholic High School in the early 1960s, are both community institutions in their own right. While the bakery is a for-profit business, Destribats plans to connect the two further by allowing some portion of the bakery proceeds to contribute to TCA scholarships. Michael Knowles, TCA director of community relations and head of the school’s robotics program, will also be helping oversee management of the bakery.
“There are a lot of similarities between Eet Gud and TCA,” Destribats said. “They’re both very important to Hamilton Township, and have a longstanding presence.” Destribats herself, now CEO of Eet Gud Bakery LLC, is an alumna of TCA.
“Like Eet Gud Bakery, tradition is important to TCA – and carrying on the mission of Msgr. Michael McCorristin, which is to ‘serve the youth to whom God gave tomorrow,’ is important to us as well. Both Eet Gud and TCA are significant members of the local community and continuing the tradition of both is truly the mission of the LLC.”
Former owner Donna Gorish, granddaughter of the original owner, has been a fixture at Eet Gud since she began working behind the counter at age 14. Her contributions as a cake maker and designer are well known in the community – and will continue to be, as Gorish will remain on staff. As a child, Gorish actually lived in the house attached to the bakery.
“’This place will always be your home,’ I told her,” Destribats noted. “We are so glad she’s staying on. We have a great team in place, and the same recipes and bakers on staff.”
“You’ll still see my face around, as well as the other staff,” Gorish confirmed in a statement to customers. “You will also see some new faces – faces that will continue the tradition of having the same great baked goods you have come to love, synonymous with the Eet Gud name.”
Destribats said that her intention is to take the bakery to the next step, expanding the deli and bakery and installing Wi-Fi access. The bakery also has plans for a grand opening celebration sometime in March.
“We’re listening to people’s feedback,” she noted, “looking at Facebook comments, and making some initial minor changes like painting… we’re getting Donna’s input on all the things she’s wanted to do.”