Grand Momument in Brooklyn serves more than bread

January 11, 2011 3:03:00 PM PST
From tombstones to baking bread, a Brooklyn bakery has transformed to meet two entirely different needs of the community.

One morning ritual that Jerry Ragusa takes seriously is selling freshly baked loaves of bread to the community.

Customers can choose from French baguettes, olive, wheat, and other variations.

The crusty and doughy breads are tempting enough to lure people in to the East Williamsburg shop.

Grand Monument is not your average bakery.

Surprisingly, it is also a shop that sells funeral headstones.

Customers that enter Ragusa's shop to purchase a headstone feel that the bread lightens up the morbid atmosphere.

Others visit Ragusa's shop simply for the bread, which is a relatively new addition.

The idea stemmed from Jerry's daughter who says, "I want a future in bread, he wants a future in monuments? mesh it together."

The setting may be bizarre, but it allows Jerry to socialize with others.

It has also contributed to the four pounds that he has gained since he started selling the bread.

Either way, Jerry feels proud to have both businesses and the opportunity to serve the community that he has been a part of for 50 years.