A business that symbolized the Italian spirit that came to the United States at the turn of 20th century shut down operations on Sunday, July 7.
After more than 110 years, Boschetto’s Bakery on Salem Street, in Boston’s North End, has ceased its activities due to a sudden steep increase in rent.
I’m saddened by the news. Although I cannot claim to have been a regular customer (I do not live in the neighborhood), I still felt a strong tie to the bakery, where I had spent several hours one cold February night in 2012.
In that occasion, I got to speak (in Italian) with the bakery’s co-owner, Bartolomeo De Stefano, and his brother Rocco. The two worked alongside without saying much, because they knew exactly what they had to do to churn out those delicious loaves of bread and the long trays of cookies that customers would gobble up the next day.
I remember Bart’s face light up as he spoke of the brick oven in the back, the only one still being used in the North End. You could tell bread was his whole life.
I went in there thinking I would only take some pictures to accompany the story I would write, but I soon realized that what was happening behind the store’s walls was magical. So I decided to shoot a video of the whole bread-making process.