It was 1953 in Torre Faro, Messina, a small town known as il punto or “the tip” of Sicily. At seven years old, Domenico Donato began delivering bread on his bike to the local town folk for his father’s bakery. As his father’s apprentice, Domenico grew up learning the techniques of making fine bread. When he was 17 he went to America with his brother, Letterio and sister, Domenica. Together they established several successful bakeries using the traditional techniques their father taught them. In 1984, on a trip to visit his family, Domenico met Maria Mondello in Messina, Sicily. From the moment they met, it was love at first sight. Maria was a college student with aspirations to become a teacher. Every week for two years they spoke on the telephone, while Domenico continued to work in America. In 1986 Domenico returned to Italy to wed Maria, in order to start a family together in America.
Together they had two sons, Antonio and Vincenzo. Holidays were spent working as a family at the Bakery. At a young age, Antonio and Vincenzo were taught how to roll bread, fill and dip cookies, and make pastries. As they got older, they became more involved in the family business by learning the traditions passed down to them by their father, from their grandfather.
In 2005, a friend informed Domenico of a bakery for sale in Bayport, N.Y. The bakery was called Mondello Bakery. Given the fact that this was his wife’s maiden name, it was an opportunity Domenico could not pass up. The Donato family continues to run Mondello Bakery today, and it has become a great success. The Bakery is a huge family affair, especially during the holidays. There is a continued emphasis on tradition and the quality of their products. Most importantly, they continue to welcome their customers as family.