A Rocky Point institution, opened in 1955 and owned since 1980 by Master Baker Eddie Maher.
"We met in a bakery when we were kids, and we worked our way up," Maher said. "We bought this bakery together. We have been married thirty seven years.
"When I went to work in a bakery in Hauppauge," he added, "I had no idea I would become a baker. When you're young you want to be everything, a doctor, a policeman, but I found out I really loved baking."
Tilda's is a confectionary dream. There are mile-high, seven-layer chocolate cakes, cannoli-filled cakes, truffle tortes, rainbow cookie cakes, not to mention red velvet cupcakes and mouthwatering butter cookies. There is a self-service coffee station, so you can grab a cup of coffee and a pastry on the run.
At the counter Laura Nicolisi of Rocky Point was buying bread.
"This bakery is wonderful," she said. "I've lived here 35 years and I've been coming 35 years."
The bakery transforms through the holidays. At Easter time the place is filled with Tilda's handmade-on-the-premises chocolate bunnies. During the St. Patrick's Day Parade people come in for cookies for the kids as the parade strolls by. During the recent Fourth of July weekend the bakery sold red, white and blue cookies. Christmas is the busiest time of all, according to Maher.
In 1998, as a gift to the community, and dedicated to Rocky Point, Tilda's Bake Shop and the Maher family constructed the large clock that marks time for our little town.
Maher, who learned the business hands-on, is now a Certified Master Baker, a prestigious accomplishment in the culinary field. He is the treasurer for the Nassau/Suffolk Bakers Association, and both the New York and New Jersey Bakers Association.
In reference to his work with various baking associations, he said: "We basically help each other out, and we establish scholarships to culinary schools for students interested in baking."
Tilda's distributes bread and bakery products all over the region.
"We create our products from raw ingredients; unlike other retail business, we sell only what we make," Maher said. "Our customers are deli's, restaurants and caterers. Tilda's makes between six and seven hundred items."
Many people do not realize that a baker is part artisan, part chemist.
"There is a lot of science behind baking; that makes it interesting," Maher said.