Everyone in Ktown has a favorite Paielli’s food item. The bread, the cakes, the doughnuts, the bread, ha! As much as I love everything in the bakery, the bread is just otherworldly. And now Paielli’s Bakery is celebrating a century in business and that surprises no one because everyone in this city knows quality when they taste it. And equally, everyone knows someone who works or worked there. You hear stories of folks going in there to get the discount bread when it is later in the day, stories of “back in the day” when you could go in there and get some bread and a pie and a danish AND a whole bunch of beer. The place is a Kenosha Institution…a study in “The Family Business”. And Mr. Paielli is going to work EVERYDAY still at 90 years old. Who does that? The guy that operates the best bakery on the planet, that’s who.
I’m a very loyal person…probably to a fault. And I married an Italian and if you know anything about the Italian culture, you know loyalties run deep. My brother-in-law Tom Patrizzi (also known as the great Don Tomassino by those who have ever heard the radio show), worked there and has been friends with Dave Paielli since they were kids. So based on loyalties alone, I would give Paielli’s the benefit of the doubt. Except by the time I start hanging around his sister in 1984, I was already all-in on Paielli’s. Going to St Mary’s, you were kinda locked into a different bakery based solely on location. By the time I hit high school and was able to drive, it was Paielli’s and I have never looked back. Will never look back. It’s loyalty but it is every bit quality as well.
As was indicated, the bread it where is all starts for me. The sliced Italian that is huge and kinda looks like a half-flat basketball….that is the winner. No clue what it is called but I sure know where it is located. I’m a chocolate covered long-john fan. One of those bad boys with a cold glass of white milk…literally nothing better. The cakes are world-class. I couldn’t possibly count the amount of times I’ve been “in” on a Paielli’s cake at some event. It always seems like there’s about 40 people working behind the counter to make sure they address your every need and they are always more than helpful. And the family members are ALWAYS there. It is definitely an experience to roll into that bakery on a weekend morning just to see who you can see….and get WAY more food than you need.
My Paielli’s story centers around the volleyball team my daughter and I coach. We had a quiet, exceptional young lady from the family on our team. As we were putting together the end of the year celebration, she walks up to us and says, “I can bring dessert”. Now generally speaking, I would do the obligatory , “oh no, you don’t have to do that”. In this case I said, “hell yes you can!”. Fast forward one year and again the Paielli family had blessed our end of the season banquet with just an insane amount of cyclops doughnuts, per the request of the team and also my wife’s favorite. Well earlier in the season, we had a discussion and somehow it came up that I was a huge fan of the chocolate long-john, but on this day I assumed I’d be eating one of the boatload of delicious cyclops staring me in the face. Ms Paielli blew me away when she brought me my special chocolate long john based on what she had heard me say a month earlier. Outstanding young lady from an outstanding family.
And now this cornerstone Kenosha family bakery is celebrating 100 years in business!! Incredible. On Saturday January 14th, Paielli’s is welcoming everyone to come in and be a part of this historic achievement. I hear they will be having some raffles and prizes and coffee and of course, you might as well pick up a few things while you are there. There are so many things that are great about this city. In my opinion, Paielli’s Barkery is easily one of those great things. And as far as a list is concerned…..round-sliced bread…chocolate long john…apple pie…strawberry and custard cake….those awesome little potato rolls…any cookie in the house and from back in the day, WAAAY too many 12 packs of Old Style, then Miller Lite. Congrats to the best KTown has even known.