Italian Bakery mends from fire, opening soon

A crane lowered a new oven through a hole in the roof of the Italian Bakery as it prepares to reopen next month after a fire in January 2014 caused extensive damage.

Painters are on the job and more new equipment is arriving in the countdown to the reopening of the family-owned bakery at 3197 Quadra St. on March 17.

The bakery was a quick hit with capital region residents when it first opened in December 1978.

It has been shut since an oven fire spread to the building.

Owners Alberto Pozzolo and Janet Cochrane represent a second generation at the bakery. His parents, Ubalda and Michael Pozzolo, will be helping out, Alberto said. “They’ve missed the bakery probably more than anybody else.”

It has taken longer than initially expected to get the building ready, he said. “But now everything is coming together.”

Renovations include a more efficient layout in the rear of the building, where the baking takes place and other upgrades such as new wiring, Pozzolo said.

The new oven has twice the capacity of the previous one. It is steam-injected, which is good for developing crusts on bread, Pozzolo said. A stone on the bottom of the oven allows for baking directly on the hearth, he said.

Customers will see familiar breads and pastries, along with a larger variety of naturally leavened organic breads. Savoury dishes will include gnocchi and fresh pastas and paninis, which can be eaten in the bakery or taken home.

Final renovation costs are not in yet, Pozzolo said. The fire damage was covered by insurance.