In 1961, Pietro “Peter” Terranova arrived in America from Sicily. Staying close to his roots, Peter gravitated to the Little Italy section of the Bronx. In a short time, he began working at a local bakery sweeping the floors. Over the next few years, Peter worked tirelessly performing many functions, while learning the trade he would later perfect. Then, in 1967, the owner of the bakery decided to sell the business. Peter jumped at the opportunity and made the owner an offer. So, in October 1967, Terranova Bakery came to life in a small store front on 187th Street in Little Italy in the Bronx. To assist in the family business, Peter’s brother, Gandolfo joined him after returning from the Army in 1969.
Over the next ten years, the bakery steadily built up a loyal customer base. Each day, Peter headed out at 5 am to peddle our bread door-to-door, often not returning until after 8 pm (He even went so far as to deliver on his wedding day!). Minding the store, Peter’s wife, Vera, and Gandolfo’s wife, Mina, worked tirelessly catering to every customer need. This unwavering dedication ensured our classic Pane Veramente Di Casa made its mark on the local bread market.
In 1976, Terranova Bakery expanded operations and added an additional location at 691 East 187th Street (our current retail location). Beginning in the late 1970s, Peter and Gandolfo entered into the wholesale business, selling to restaurants, delis, and other local bread distributors. As interest in the product grew, so did the customer base. The product became so popular that Pane Di Casa was often just referred to as “Terranova Bread.”
Through the 1980s and 1990s, much of our core customer base moved from the Bronx to Westchester County, Long Island, and Connecticut. In turn, so did we. Peter and Gandolfo expanded the wholesale business to the five boroughs, Connecticut, Long Island, and upstate New York.
In 2000, both Peter and Gandolfo’s sons joined the family business and have been working diligently to bring Terranova Bakery into the 21st century. What was one generation’s passion has become another generation’s obsession!