KEANSBURG — The owner of the beloved Dixie Lee Bakery said there is no need to panic about the future of the shop despite rumors of its potential closure after 85 years.

Sal Giovine, the owner of the bakery for 16 years, said he is just looking forward to retirement and already has potential buyers looking to continue its traditions.

"It's going to stay open," he said. "I'm 68-years-old. I'm entitled to retirement."

As he determines who the next owner of the Main Street establishment will be, Giovine said he wants to make sure whoever the next owner is is the right fit for the business and the community.

"I have to find people more capable of keeping up the tradition of Dixie Lee," he said. "I want to make sure that whoever is going to buy it can keep up the same things we've been doing for 85 years."

As rumors of the bakery's closure have spread by word of mouth and on the internet, Giovine said people are "panicking" about what the future holds for the Dixie Lee. He said on Wednesday morning the well known black-and-white cookies were flying off the shelves with customers worried it could be their last ones.

"Since I walked in this morning that's all I've been doing," he said. "It look like they're going out of style. By tonight I'm going to run out of it." He added jokingly that if the trend kept up he would have to sleep at the bakery to ensure they kept the supply up for more demand, especially since the bakery is not closing anytime soon.

After 16 years running the popular bakery Giovine said it is time for someone else to take over running the 500 degree ovens.

"People don't know but to work in a bakery takes a lot of courage and a lot of stamina," he said.

On a given week, he said bakers put in 10 to 12 hour days which can become 15 to 16 hours a day during the holidays.

"It takes a lot out of you," he said. "When it's hot I've got a 30-pan oven that when you open it is 500 degrees."

As for what he plans to do once he is able to retire, Giovine said he has "so many plans." That includes just spending time at home and doing things around the house. Beyond that he said he wants to take a trip to his home country of Italy and then enjoy the time away from the shop he has run for close to two decades.

 

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com