By Cathy Slade (with permission from Tina Santoro Asmar)
Santoro's Bakery was a popular family business owned by Vincenzo and Agostina Santoro. The business was known for its square Sicilian pizza, fresh baked Scali bread, cookies and pastries for 27 Years in Roslindale Square. As the story goes, Agostina and Vincenzo met when Vincenzo delivered bread to Agostina’s home in Sicily. He worked for a bakery at the time and used a donkey to climb the high hills to deliver bread to her family.
Eventually Agostina and Vincenzo married and came to the United States where they had a family of five girls. Since Vincenzo had been a baker in Sicily, in 1950, he and his wife bought a building that housed the business that became Santoro's Bakery. The location was 4197 Washington Street, where the street became South Street at Adams Park in Roslindale Village. At the time, there were several other businesses there including a bar called The Happy Hour and a photo shop.
Vincent baked bread all day in the largest oven in the country. It was 35’ long by 20’ wide. The bread was so delicious that it would be sold out within hours. Sunday was a busy day at Santoro’s Bakery. It was when churchgoers stopped by for freshly baked bread. The shop closed at 11:00 in the morning when the all the bread was sold out.
At the end of a long and very successful business, Vincenzo and Agostina retired, but maintained ownership of the building. The Bakery has been closed for over 20 years now but the memories of getting a slice of pizza after seeing a movie at the Rialto Theater keeps their legacy alive!
The information in this story was provided by Tina Santoro Asmar. Tina is the fourth daughter of Vincenzo and Agostina; she is currently walking in the footsteps of her parents. Tina owns Santoro’s Deli on Bridge Street in Dedham. The business is very successful and she uses the same recipes as her parents did.