Local businesses get to cash in on SugarHouse

Gus Isgro’s family has been baking sweets in Philadelphia for more than a century, so who better to provide pastries for a place called SugarHouse?

“I’m actually quite pleased with working with them,” said the owner of South Philly’s Isgro Pasticceria. “I told them up front I’ll do the best I can and if it stays manageable, I’ll continue with it. So far it’s been manageable.”

The bakery makes dozens of bagels, muffins and danish for the casino each day, along with its famous cannoli and cupcakes, Isgro said. The shop has hired three new salespeople to meet the orders.

“It’s challenging for sure,” he added.

SugarHouse, which opened Sept. 23, has utilized several other local vendors. Joe Martin, the casino’s director of procurement, has held workshops and gone around the city looking for a diverse group of businesses.

“It’s interesting that some of the [minority and women business enterprises] and some of the smaller businesses have been beating out the larger businesses,” said Martin, a former certified minority business owner himself. “That’s because they’re more responsive, they’re hungrier and they took advantage of the test bid process.”

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