Piccione Pastry staff members Laura Dignon, Carolyn Norath, Larry Condie, Elizabeth Nix and Martin Lopez

Sarah Crowder

Piccione Pastry has a sweet new deal for area nonprofits. The late-night Italian bakery shop, which opened in the Delmar Loop this April, is serving up Pastries With a Purpose.

The indulgent new donation program will give a dozen charities a year the opportunity to benefit from 10 percent of the bakery’s pastry sales on a designated day each June and December. “We will increase our sales that day and write a big check for the charities, too. It’s a win-win situation,” says Richard Nix, president of Butler’s Pantry, the catering company that owns the shop.

Butler’s Pantry always has been committed to giving back to the community, especially through children’s charities in the health and education sectors, Nix notes. Piccione Pastry is no exception. So the bakery shop is encouraging interested 501(c)(3) charities to apply for Pastries With a Purpose at piccionepastry.com. Twice annually, six nonprofits will be chosen to participate in the program, and the groups can use the 10 percent of a day at the bakery’s profits to expand their charitable impact.

For the first round of giving the week of June 24, the chosen charities include City Academy, Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, Belle Children’s Services of St. Louis Arc, Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Today and Tomorrow Education Foundation. The nonprofits are using the funds in a multitude of ways.

Julie Reinke at St. Louis Children’s Hospital says the gift helps the hospital provide resources for some of its most innovative programs, enabling it to deliver tomorrow’s care to children in the region and around the world. “Our community’s support provides critical funding for attracting and retaining the brightest and most expert medical professionals; research initiatives that focus on eliminating some of the most devastating childhood illnesses; and outreach programs that provide more than 20,000 children in the St. Louis area with dental, physical and asthma services from mobile offices housed in colorful, kid-friendly RVs,” Reinke explains. “In a nutshell, private support ensures we can fulfill our mission—to do what’s right for kids.”

Ginger Imster, City Academy’s director of development, says Pastries With a Purpose funds are crucial because 100 percent of the school’s admitted students receive scholarship support. “The funds provided through this project will support our unique Scholarship Program. We remain the only private, independent elementary school in St. Louis making this commitment to families. We’re able to do this with generous support from the community. Our students and their families are very appreciative.”

Piccione Pastry (piccione means pigeon in Italian) was launched by Nix and his wife, Elizabeth, in honor of the Nix family Italian heritage and his grandparents’ Paul and Grace Piccione’s rich cultural history in the Loop. Led by executive pastry chef Martin Lopez, the nine-member staff bakes from scratch daily, serving up authentic handmade Italian pastries, cakes, cookies, and hot and cold drinks, from cannolis, cream puffs and Tiramisu to Italian coffee and soda. “You can see chefs cranking out cannoli shells and assembling different desserts on big marble tables as you walk by or step inside the shop,” Nix says. “It’s all part of the ambiance.”

The bakery’s current hours—11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday—may be extended this summer due to overwhelming popularity within only its first few months of business, Nix notes. Buon Appetito!

ON THE COVER: Sweet treat sales at Piccione Pastry will now benefit half-a-dozen local charities twice a year. For more information, visit piccionepastry.com.

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