In 1930’s Umbaldo Datoli ran a bakery in Serino Italy, it was passed down from his grandfather, to his father, to him. He was a third generation baker baking homemade Italian breads from the recipe his grandfather started.
After the war he decided to move his family to America. In 1954 he opened up a small Italian bakery on Lake St. in Melrose Park, Il. The bakery was an Italian grocery store where people can find many Italian products, but the specialty of the place was homemade Italian Bread, that very same recipe he brought from Italy is what people from all over loved. Unfortunately Umbaldo Datoli passed away in 1969, and the bakery was taken over by his daughter Lena Scudiero who ran the bakery for several years by herself.
In 1976 her husband Joe left his current job to help out with expanding the business, in 1978 the name was later changed from Melrose Park Italian Bakery to Scudiero’s Italian Bakery. Joe was a true Baker working everyday and never taking time off, he was even opened on Sundays during the Bears Games so the many customers who went to the games could tailgate with Scudiero’s Subs & Pizzas. He truly loved being a baker and he turned the bakery into a place where people came from all over to see & hang out. Often people come in and see an old friend from the “old neighborhood” that they haven’t seen in many years. The famous bread bag was a favorite among the customers, when you came in to buy a loaf of bread Joe would take a picture of you holding the bag up and then place the picture in the bakery. Before you know it there had to be 1000′s of pictures throughout the bakery. From ordinary customers to celebrities such as Carol Lawrence, Frank Sinatra & Be Bop to name a few all holding the infamous Scudiero’s bag. Then it became a contest to see who could travel with a Scudiero’s bag and take their own picture in front of a “Welcome to” sign, of course we had photo’s from most of the united states and even as far away as China, Australia & Russia. it was a true classic.
In 1998 the bakery underwent a total remodel and was closed for 2 months. When it reopened the pictures came down, more seating was added and it was changed into what it is today! Scudiero’s Italian Bakery & Deli. Also added catering to our services.
Joe Scudiero passed away on July 29th 2007, he will always be remembered for his very kind compassion and generosity. Today it is ran by three of Joe’s six sons Frank, Aldo and Anthony. Aldo is now a fifth generation baker, Baking the same famous Italian bread that has been in our family for over 150 years. They keep the tradition alive and hope to bring the same service their father gave everyone everyday.
Favorite quote from Joe Scudiero
“You don’t judge a man by his wealth, You judge the man by the family he’s raised”
Thank you & Bon Appétit
The Scudiero Family