Allegretti’s Bakery Celebrates 50 Years in Business!

| January 1, 2013

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50 Years of Family Baking Tradition

Allegretti’s is a family affair originally starting way back in the 1950’s. 50 years of baking and making occasions special for generations. Allegretti’s Bakery celebrated their 50th Anniversary in Norridge on December 4 of 2012. Daughter Linda Ahern explained how her father Anthony Allegretti got his start into the business making pastries and baked goods in his uncle’s basement. He learned to cook in the army when they sent him to cooking school. “He used to cook for the generals and get in trouble when he’d bring the leftovers back for his men because it was always so much better than what they normally got fed,” Linda explained.  DSC07131

Anthony purchased Sarno’s bakery in the old Italian neighborhood located around Kedzie Avenue in Chicago and they were probably the last place to move once the neighborhood started to change ethnicities. So off to Norridge they moved and their long standing history with the village began.  Linda recalls her father making cakes that could be 6-8 feet tall for weddings that needed a ladder to cut the top tiers. “Back then when you ordered a cake, you got a cutter and wrapper person too,” said Linda. “My father and I would spend our Saturdays going from wedding to wedding cutting cakes and wrapping them. When I got older I was on my own,” Linda explained with a smile. Linda figures they are still making cakes for 4th generation of customers.

Unfortunately, Anthony Allegretti passed away suddenly at an early age of 51 in 1973. The family was devastated and for two weeks the bakery was closed. Anthony’s wife Rose was thankful that son Michael decided to reopen and continue the business. Rose just recently passed away at the age of 87 in November of 2011.

As Linda explained, the entire family gets involved continuing the Allegretti’s traditions of baking. Mike is the oldest of the brothers and does the baking with help from brothers Anthony and Tom.  Sister Carol works the front regularly and Linda steps in during the busy holiday seasons. All the members of the family, including the children, know that Christmas will be spent in the bakery preparing orders for their customers and helping out with the Christmas rush orders.

Struffoli

Struffoli

Some of Allegretti’s specialties are the chocolate frosted pound cake (you can special order vanilla also) and old Italian pastries such as sfogliatelle, pasticiotto, and Baba Rum.  In addition, they still make the Italian Cucidati cookie for Christmas as well as a struffoli and let’s not forget their famous cannolis which are filled as needed so as not to let them sit around too long. Linda also pointed out that their gingerbread houses light up and can actually last for years if properly stored. “I kept DSC07138one for over three years and when I’d open the bag it was stored in it still had the gingerbread scent,” Linda said with a smile. (If you missed them this year, make it a point to purchase one next year.)  It has to be emphasized that they continue the tradition of making everything fresh. “Our customers expect it from our bakery and they are used to waiting.”

When asked to sum it all up, Linda’s eyes welled up and she said, “I’ve been in tears all week (during the anniversary).  My father would be so proud knowing the legacy is still going on.”

Allegretti’s Bakery is located in Norridge at  7717 W. Lawrence Avenue. Stop in and pick up your favorite bakery items and some of things you’ve never tried before. You are sure to find a new tradition to add to your special occasions.

Anthony and Rose Allegretti

Anthony and Rose Allegretti

 

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Category: Featured Businesses

About the Author ()

Barbara is the publisher of People and Places Newspaper which she started in August of 2011. A lifelong resident of Schiller Park, she always felt it important that residents needed to be kept informed about their communities. Since newspaper coverage for Schiller Park stopped about twenty years ago, she made it a goal to bring a newspaper back to the area. She tries to include all of Leyden Township in her reporting and wants to keep true with the mission of the paper to "inform, educate and entertain."

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