Boogie Down Bites: Madonia Bakery

Posted: Updated:
THE BRONX -

Both death and near-death experiences haven't stopped the Madonia family business from growing and making it to 100 years.

At Madonia Bakery on Arthur Avenue, there is a century of baked goods and a century of stories that tell the tale of the family that's owned the shop for three generations.

When Peter Madonia's grandparents came to the Bronx from Sicily, they opened the small shop on Arthur Avenue in 1918.

His father, also Peter Madonia, was born inside the bakery three months premature because of a car crashing into the store. 
 
"They put him in a shoe box with cotton around it and put him next to the oven which effectively acted like an incubator," says Peter Madonia.
 
His father worked in the bakery until his 90s, and his older brother Mario took over and is credited for their first push of specialty breads it's well-known for.

Then tragedy struck.
 
"He was killed in a car accident in 1988 and that's when I came to the business,” says Madonia.
 
The loss of his brother made Peter's mission in life clear.

He left his job in Mayor Ed Koch's administration and brought in a partner, Charles Lalima, who is responsible for the second push of specialty breads.

After years of getting settled, Charlie took the reins while Peter went back to city government as Mayor Michael Bloomberg's chief of staff. 
 
"I did that for four years, and then I got an offer to become the chief operating officer for the Rockefeller Foundation, which I did for 12 years and it was there that I really came to appreciate what it means to be around 100 years,” says Madonia. 

The history, heritage, and, of course, the smell of fresh bread pulled Peter back to his family's roots one more time.

The bakery celebrated 100 years of business this year.

  • Food & Fun PhotosMore>>

  • New York Comic Con 2019 - Food and Fun

    New York Comic Con 2019 - Food and Fun

    New York Comic Con 2019 - Food and FunNew York Comic Con 2019 - Food and Fun
    New York Comic Con 2019 - Food and FunNew York Comic Con 2019 - Food and Fun
    New York Comic Con is being held at the Javits Center Oct. 3-6, and News 12 is there! Click or tap on the photos to get a look at all of the fun!
    New York Comic Con is being held at the Javits Center Oct. 3-6, and News 12 is there! Click or tap on the photos to get a look at all of the fun!
  • Boogie Down Bites Photos

    Boogie Down Bites Photos

    Here are some of the dishes featured on Boogie Down Bites. 

    Here are some of the dishes featured on Boogie Down Bites. 

  • Just Married in The Bronx

    Just Married in The Bronx

    Share your wedding with News 12.Share your wedding with News 12.

    News 12 The Bronx wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedBX.  

    News 12 The Bronx wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedBX.  

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."