By Sharon Yeo
The Italian Bakery is finally ready to re-open in Chinatown with a brand-new building.
A fire devastated the original structure in 2020, after the company's Beverly site had to be rebuilt after a fire in 2016. While undertaking another major construction project so soon was not ideal, owner Rosaly DeVenz said doing so was the only option.
"My parents (founders Antonio and Aurora Frattin) started this bakery here in 1962, and this was their home," DeVenz told Taproot. "We rebuilt it for them."
Construction was supposed to last only a year, but due to COVID-19, materials shortages, and contractor challenges, the timeline extended to three years. Unfortunately, both Antonio and Aurora passed away in 2022 and were not able to see the final result. The new build at 10644 97 Street NW included a customized apartment unit above the bakery that was intended for them. Still, DeVenz knows her parents would be pleased with the outcome.
"They would be happy that we rebuilt in this neighbourhood and will step up our game," said DeVenz. "You have to make out of the rubble like a phoenix rising, and make it bigger and better."
DeVenz is aiming for a soft opening later in September. Although the footprint of the new building is only slightly larger than the previous one, the design has significantly enlarged the retail area. This will allow the location to stock fresh produce, milk, eggs, and more grocery items than before, as well as accommodate a larger deli.