NEWBURYPORT — Bill Malatesta will tell you — he wants to keep doing what he's been doing for the past 10 years.
And that is baking bread.
Malatesta and his partner, Jane Kenny, will be moving their European-style bake shop, Annarosa Bakery, from Newburyport's Tannery to Elm Street in Salisbury. The reason for the move is simple, Malatesta said.
"We need more space," he said.
Things have changed during the last 10 years, Malatesta said. The cost of doing business has gone up, along with energy costs. The dollar is weak, which is problematic when all the bakery's equipment is purchased in Europe, he said.
"So we're paying more — significantly more, frighteningly more," Malatesta added.
Malatesta and Kenny have been searching for several years for the perfect new location, he said. They've looked all over, ruling some spaces out because they were too far away from their present spot for their clientele to get to; others cost too much. They wanted it to be the right move for them and their customers.
But when the space at 175 Elm St. in Salisbury became available, it all fit. The storefront is near Tom's Discount, where Polka Dot Playhouse was located.
Annarosa's last day baking in Newburyport will be May 22. A Saturday, it should be a busy day, Malatesta said. From there, the two owners will devote their time to getting their new shop ready. They are aiming for a July 1 grand opening at their new location.
The new shop will allow for a much bigger oven.
"It's massive," he said. "She's a beauty."
Their current oven, which was built by a master oven builder will also be de-constructed by a professional oven builder in a manner that will allow for it to be reassembled. Malatesta plans to sell the oven.
"If you can't increase the size of your oven, you can't increase production," Malatesta said.
And increasing production is essential for staying in business as a baker.
Annarosa's customers have taken the news of the move well for the most part, Malatesta said. The overwhelming majority is enthusiastic and have pledged to follow the shop to their new Salisbury space, he added.
Customers come from all over, including southern Maine, southern New Hampshire, the South Shore and elsewhere.
"We've had an amazing 10 years here, and we're looking forward to the next 10," he said. "We love it and want to be able to continue to do it."
When Annarosa closes in the Tannery, the bakery will keep its phone line so customers can call to get an update on the new shop's progress. They also plan to have a website up and running shortly.