By Cary Shuman
Torretta’s Bakery, a landmark business in Beachmont, celebrated its 25th anniversary Sunday in an impressive ceremony that also paid tribute to the life of its founder, Salvatore Torretta.
Mayor Brian Arrigo, City Councillors Joanne McKenna, Ira Novoselsky, Arthur Guinasso, Robert Haas Jr., and Tony Zambuto, School Committee member Dan Maguire, former mayor Dan Rizzo, and former senator Robert Travaglini joined business owner Ralph Torretta, his mother, Mattea, and other proud members of the Torretta family at the event. A memorial stone was dedicated in memory of Salvatore Torretta, who died on July 18, 2016.
“I just want to thank everyone for coming out today and celebrating this very special 25th anniversary of Torretta’s Bakery and our dedication to the hardest working man that we know – our father, husband – Salvatore Torretta,” said Ralph Torretta.
Salvatore Torretta was born in Italy where he dropped out of school in the fourth grade to sell gelato and slush to help support his family. He and his wife came to the United States in 1969 and lived in the North End for three months before settling in Beachmont. He bought an ice cream truck in 1972 and became known as “Salvatore the Ice Cream Man.”
In 1978 he bought the first soft serve ice cream truck in the area, providing banana boats, frappes, and sundaes and servicing Revere and the surrounding communities of East Boston and Winthrop.
In 1992, Salvatore Torretta and family opened the Italian bakery at its current location in Beachmont and purchased the building. It was one of Mr. Torretta’s proudest days, sharing the happiness with his wife, Mattea, and their four children, Maria Torretta Lobrutto, Joe Torretta, Ralph Torretta, and Antonella Torretta Paglairulo.
At the well-attended ceremony, Arrigo presented a certificate of commendation to the Torretta family, saying that “Torretta’s Bakery is one of the local businesses that stand as the lifeblood of our city.”
“I can’t think of a local business that represents everything that we want in this community more than Torretta’s Bakery,” said Arrigo. “We have a family-run, family-owned, immigrant owned small business that really defines a neighborhood and a community as a whole. I want to congratulate the Torretta family on your 25 years. It’s really quite an accomplishment.”
Councilor McKenna said for the last 25 years she had the pleasure of knowing the amazing and wonderful Torretta family.
“They have dedicated their lives to making Torretta’s Bakery a successful business, a gathering place and a staple in the Beachmont/Revere community,” said McKenna. “Torretta’s would flourish in to a well-known home of varieties of homemade breads, pastries, cakes, slush, gelato, espresso and other homemade dishes.”
McKenna said the Torretta family is known for its outstanding service and its congenial manner with all customers.
The Torretta family has always treated me with respect and kindness. Mother Mattea greets me with a hug and a smile and is always concerned about my well being. To the Torretta family, thank you for your generosity, your hard work and dedication throughout these 25 years. You have made thousands of people very happy in sampling your delicious desserts, café, and everything else the bakery has to offer.T
Rizzo also commended the Torretta family while noting that a lot has changed in the past 25 years.
“But one thing has remained the same and that is the good name of the Torretta family – the good reputation of a bakery that serves tens of thousands of people over the years.”
Rizzo said he has fond memories of sitting outside the bakery, noting that other distinguished residents, including former Ward 1 councillors, the late Richard Penta and the late John Kimmerle “enjoyed the environment that Torretta’s has provided all of us for so long.”
Rizzo said Salvatore Torretta was a tireless worker and “up until his last days could teach a class in work ethic – the work ethic that Salvatore Torretta had is unparalleled. This was his life and he knew that it was providing for his family and he loved his customers. He greeted everybody with a smile and he was so proud of what he created.”
Noting the positive impact that Ralph Torretta has had on the city and Beachmont area, Rizzo told the family, “You’re a credit to the city of Revere.”
Ralph Torretta said the building of a successful business has been “a lot of work, a lot of dedication – but we appreciate today that we made it 25 years.”
Concluding his heartfelt remarks, Torretta paid tribute to his mother, saying that “behind every great man, there’s a great woman and that great woman is my mom. Mattea for the past 25 years has been there seven days a week, step by step, alongside my father supporting him in every way for his love of the bakery. Without her, my father could not have achieved all this success.”