Café Italiano hosts ribbon cutting ceremony

Published 2:50 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

BUCHANAN – A new addition to downtown Buchanan was celebrated with much fanfare Friday morning.

Buchanan community members attended the Café Italiano at the Buchanan Sweet Shop’s ribbon cutting ceremony at 205 E. Front St., Buchanan.

Owned by Paolucci and Thomas Hitchcock, the new and improved sweets shop reopened in December after three years of extensive restorations and offers a variety of sweets and treats including Ashby’s Sterling Ice Cream, local handmade and European import chocolates, candy, gourmet coffees, pastries, personal pizzas, soups, gelatos and sorbets, desserts, Italian sodas and more. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome our entire community back to the Sweet Shop, and grateful for everyone’s patience and support,” said co-owner Joseph Paolucci.

“It’s just an honor to welcome you all back here,” Hitchcock said. It was a bit of a challenge doing the renovation; a 153 year-old building has a lot of character flaws, but the bones were so good and to bring back the 1947 original sweet shop and keep its art deco roots is such a privilege to provide to the community.”

The shop is currently open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday  and continues the proud tradition of satisfying community sweet tooths since 1947. 

“It’s great to see the [Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce] supporting and celebrating our local businesses,” said Buchanan Mayor Sean Denison. “Tom and Joe, thank you for your dedication to your vision, the craftsmanship and the attention of detail is obvious; it’s a gift to the community.

I don’t know if I have the authority to do this but today, March 11, 2022, I’d like to change the city’s motto to Buchanan: Life is sweeter here.”

Following the ribbon ceremony, the shop opened up one hour early for those in attendance eager to try its tasty treats. Hitchcock also guided interested guests on a tour of the building, which he and Paolucci purchased four years ago.

“We are very grateful in this community to have such wonderful entrepreneurs who are investing in our area,” said Buchanan City Manager Heather Grace. “We can’t wait to come here because there’s a lot to love.”

Chamber Executive Director Ashley Regal believes the shop has become a destination business in the community.

“It takes you to another place, and that other place is nestled inside Buchanan, which is kind of a [Matryoshka doll] situation where Buchanan has that nostalgic, hometown feel,” she said. “You walk into the shop and it takes you back to what it felt like 75 years ago. You really are transported when it comes to Buchanan and then one step further when exploring places like this.”