By Carol Masshardt
If the opening day of October 7, 2023 is any indication, South Boston is returning the affection for the transformation of Joseph’s Bakery on K. St. to the new location at the corner of L. and Broadway.
Annie Nikollo, and her husband, Vani, with daughter, Vicky, were determined to carry on a long tradition started in Greece, and to the continue the work they love. Annie’s has much that is well-loved and familiar, but with a refreshing new space.
“This is what I love and I’m excited. We will have most of the old favorites, cupcakes, cannoli, all baked goods, and pies for Thanksgiving, made right here along with more breakfast sandwiches and some lunch choices. What is most important to me is that it feels like family,” she said.
It is pink and welcoming, and she credits Vani with doing months of renovation. “He is an artist, and you can see that when he works. He was a fashion designer at one time,” she said proudly. “Our whole team is coming back, too, so it is just exciting.”
Annie could talk about her early days with her young daughter by her side and with the tradition of her mother, working at a bakery in Greece. And then the sixteen years working at Joseph’s and learning the ropes established by Joseph himself. The challenges continued but so did the determination between March, when the old site closed and the opening. That said, her energy is much more focused on what is important now.
“I love people, children, and dogs. I got to know all my customers. I don’t know what the young people do at night, but they are wonderful and polite in the mornings. Sometimes I even know when a couple who were dating, then engaged, married are pregnant! They start ordering decaf, she said with a laugh, and it is one of dozens of stories about school children now grown and generations of people and, and brand new neighbors. of course, the dogs that stood patiently at the window.
“We will work on getting a permit for an area outside for take-out orders so the dogs can be here but that may take a little time,” she said, as the adjustment to the new space and flow develops.
She hopes old customers come back, and that the higher visibility of a busy corner will be an advantage, but regrets the firehouse isn’t across the street. “The firemen from the old street are sad. They say there’s nothing to see now,” she said. There will be plenty to see at one of the liveliest intersections with bus stops, stores, and gateway streets to the Seaport. Foot traffic is constant, and the 5AM-3PM hours are in keeping with what they had previously.
Demanding work beginning in the wee hours, endless streams of customers and specialized orders come naturally to this family and their devoted crew.
Just prior to the opening, seven-year-old grandson, Gianni, proudly delivered some flowers. “This means something to him, too,” Annie said as she scanned her compact and fresh place for every detail. Annie, her family, and the crew exude the optimism that the people they love will soon be coming through the doors, and loving back an institution that has found its way forward.
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