Destination: Leo’s Bakery and Deli

The "Italian, Italian, Italian" sub at Leo's features various deli meats, provolone cheese and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. (Photo by Matthew Molinaro.)

By Matthew Molinaro staff writer

Ever wondered why Leo’s Bakery & Deli uses the catchphrase “So Sweet, So Sweet”?  Well for this week’s Destination article, I welcome Fisher students to the deli/bakery/grocery store:  Leo’s Bakery & Deli.

Leo’s began in the early 1940s as the Balta Pie Company.  The Balta Brothers built a 7,000 square foot pie factory in the city of Rochester.  Years later, the Balta Brothers moved factory operations to Henrietta to start manufacturing unbaked and frozen pies.  Still later, the business was sold to General Mills.

Cakes and pastries to go can be found to take a little of Leo’s goodness home. (Photo by Matthew Molinaro.)

Leo Balta stayed in the city of Rochester to continue to sell pies and other pastries to local restaurants, stores, and schools.  Today, Leo’s along with the Elite Baking Company has moved operations to East Rochester. Moving to this location doubled the size of the store, which included a full service deli.

At a first glance, Leo’s looks like a full service factory, with commercial trucks moving in and out from behind the store.  However when you step inside, you are about to embark on a mission to quench your hunger.

When you first enter through the doors, you get an amazing smell of baked breads and pastries that will soon satisfy your hunger.  The middle of the store contains many fine Italian products such as olive oils, breads, spices, condiments, drinks, and even apparel.  

Right down the center of the store is a “self-service” olive stand.  The olive stand includes several imported options to try from. Customers can pick  stuffed peppers, roasted tomatoes, stuffed olives, and olive salad.

To the right of the olive stand showcases Leo’s famous frozen case.  This case includes several hundreds of frozen cakes and pastries. The frozen case also features products by “Boar’s Head”.  “Boar’s Head” is a well known and established deli company that produces premium deli meats and cheeses.

Back to the center of the store, and to the far left contains Leo’s staple deli.  The deli offers fresh variety of meats and cheeses provided by “Boars Head”. I recommend anyone to try the “Oven Gold Turkey”, trust me.  To the left of the deli is a large cafe and sub shop. The cafe can sit large groups of people looking to have a great meal for lunch and dinner.  Customers also can sit outside during the pleasant spring, summer, and fall days.

Back to the sub shop, customers can order a plethora of subs, hot dinners, and even chicken wings!  I decided to try the “Italian Italian Italian” submarine. The sub contains a mouth watering amount of Genoa salami, capocollo, prosciuttini, sharp provolone, red onions, roasted red tomatoes, leaf lettuce, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.  The sub includes the option to have a free cookie too! A person looking to purchase this amazing sandwich, along with a bag of chips with a drink totals less than $15. This price is not bad for a student who is looking to have a good dinner once or twice per week.

Pastries, sandwiches, olives, prepared food, and a great comfortable dining environment.  Five reasons why I recommend any Fisher student to come to Leo’s Bakery & Deli to enjoy quality food at a quality price.  Leo’s is open seven days a week, with hours. Monday through Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This time frame give Fisher students the flexibility to go when ever they want outside of class time.  

Leo’s Bakery & Deli is located at 101 Despatch Drive, East Rochester, NY 14445 (right off of North Washington Street), accessible with the RTS Bus (Route 81).

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