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Addio Boschetto’s, You Will Be Missed

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.

From left: Rocco and Bartolomeo De Stefano, Carlos.

From left: Rocco and Bartolomeo De Stefano, Carlos.

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.

This is my tribute to one of the last true Italian bakeries of the North End. There are still Bova’s and Parziale’s to hold up that tradition. Let’s hope they stick around for a very long time.

About Nicola Orichuia

Nicola is an Italian journalist and media enthusiast living in the United States. He keeps an eye on the Italian-American communities across the country and is always looking for positive stories to highlight.