Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murray Hill Has a Party Businesses Mark Anniversaries

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murray Hill Has a Party Businesses Mark Anniversaries

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Times-Union staff writer

Murray Hill's main drag will be rocking Saturday as its merchants celebrate a few anniversaries.

Think classic cars, rock bands, clowns, balloons, memorabilia and an anniversary cake that's a many-splendored creation.

Edgewood Bakery at 1022 S. Edgewood Ave. is turning 55 and will mark the occasion with an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"That's an accomplishment for any business nowadays," said Sandy Polletta, who owns the bakery with husband Gary. "We wanted to include our customers in the celebration because there are so many who are basically part of the family."

Several buildings down, at 932 Edgewood Ave. S., the Murray Hill Theatre and its distinctive glittering neon marquee will observe its seventh anniversary as a Christian nightclub.

"We've done almost 760 shows since then and had 110,000 people in attendance," said Tony Nasrallah, Murray Hill's president.

The bakery opened in 1947 in a third of the space it now occupies. The Pollettas, who formerly worked in the hotel management business and are its third owners, bought it in 1991 from Doris and Karl Poppinga.

In an era when Jacksonville's neighborhood bakeries have all but disappeared, Edgewood is a Murray Hill institution. Its fame has spread through appearances on the Home & Garden Television network show, All in Good Taste, and award-winning entries in the Southeast Retail Bakers Association competition.

While many bakeries have switched to mixes or frozen doughs, Edgewood's pastries are still made from scratch. Through the years, Edgewood has become noted for its cream cheese Danish, spicy gingerbread treats, carrot cake with pecans, raisins, coconut and pineapple and holiday specialties such as fruit-studded German stollen.

This week, the bakery will have in-store specials. On Saturday, there will be free cake and a surprise concoction that Polletta promises will be "a very large, fun display. …

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