About Our Bakery
Mario Madonia founded the bakery in 1918 after years of managing his own bread push-cart in the Belmont neighborhood of The Bronx. After his arrival in New York City from Monreale, Sicily, Mario joined a consortium of bakers called the Reliable Bronx Italian Bakers. These bakers contributed to supplies and a communal oven to save on costs and worked a rotating schedule to accommodate each's needs. Eventually, Mario saved enough to open his own storefront at 2348 Arthur Avenue.
He and his wife Rose worked side by side and raised their family of 3 children until 1925 when a car involved in a bootlegging car chase crashed through the front window and Rose went into labor at 6 months with her fourth child, who was literally born "into" the bakery business. Peter was kept in a bread box by the oven to keep warm and was registered with the health department two weeks later when it became clear he would survive.
Peter grew up, married, and started a pizzeria business of his own, but when his father was ready to retire, he and his older brother Frank took the helm.
Peter and his wife Josephine had three children of their own, the oldest of whom, Mario, decided to take over the family business himself in the 1980's. Tragically, Mario was killed in a car crash in the neighborhood. The rest of the family, including Peter and Josephine's other two children, Peter Jr. and Janet, all stepped up to keep the bakery open for its loyal customers.
Peter Jr. took a sabbatical from his career in NYC politics to run the bakery himself until he found a managing partner in Charles LaLima, who has been running the day-to-day operations for the better part of three decades, bringing along his own sons Adam and Jason to help out.
Peter returned to the bakery full time to help oversee the 100 year anniversary of the business in 2018, and in 2020, his nephew Daniel stepped up to take over. Now Daniel, Charlie, and Jason are keeping the traditions of fresh daily bread alive in The Real Little Italy in The Bronx.
Our bread is baked fresh every day, and we bake throughout the day so our customers always have the freshest product possible. We still make everything by hand, and on premises.
Our high quality ingredients are sourced from the best purveyors in NYC, many of whom are our neighbors here in The Bronx.
We pride ourselves on our products, but we know that it is our customers and community that have kept us in business for over 100 years.
"AMAZING. We got the olive bread, prosciutto bread and cranberry bread fresh out of the oven and still warm! I'll definitely be back."
"Couldn't be a better place for some fresh bread, pastries, and cookies. Wonderful historic New York Italian delicacies at a reasonable price."
"Stopped in over the weekend on my very first time to Arthur Ave - picked up some bread and cookies. The bread is amazing. The cookies are not overly sweet and have an incredible balance you don't find most places."