Esposito Bakery, an institution that has stood proudly for Italian pastry excellence in Revere since 1963, will close its Revere location after 57 years in the business but continue operations at its current stores in Saugus and Danvers.
Owners Charlie Pema and Zamira Pema and their daughters Ada Pema and Jennifer Pema have owned and operated the popular bakery at 154 Squire Road for the last 25 years.
“It’s really been a family affair,” said Ada Pema. “My mom and dad worked there for a number of years before owning it. They really have managed all operations for the bakery. And my sister and I grew up there making cannolis and decorating cakes and managing inventory since we were young.”
Through the support of their many loyal customers at their Revere store, the Pemas were able to expand the business to locations in Saugus and Danvers.
The Pemas were known for their distinct personal touch and congenial manner with each customer, building a strong relationship with them. Often arriving early in the morning to begin their days, Charlie and Zamira Pema worked hard to put out a great product and customers flocked to the door not only for weekly purchases for the family dinners but for special occasions.
“We put so much love and effort into it,” said Ada. “We kept all of the original recipes from the Esposito family who originally owned it. It’s just been a family effort and we’re so lucky to have been able to have grown the business as well.”
Why is the Pema family ending its legendary existence in Revere pastry-land?
“It’s bittersweet, but for us, I think it’s really been time to go,” said Ada. “I think the situation with the landlord was no longer giving us an ability to grow and scale the business and invest in the business the way how we wanted to. After a few years of going back and forth, we decided to take our investments and grow the business in Saugus where we have more space. We’re just excited to have revamped and grown the business over there.”
Jennifer Pema agreed with her sister, stating, “It definitely is a bittersweet transition. The Revere community was a backbone and a staple of the business. We’re going to miss Revere but we’re not going far.”
Ada also noted that the Saugus store is not far from the Revere border and that many former Revere residents – who patronized the store in this city – are now customers at the Saugus store.
“We see familiar faces all the time,” said Ada. “It’s the next town over and we’re excited to renovate the space, grow it, and set it up for the future. We hope that Revere residents will come over to Saugus. We’re really excited to continue the Esposito tradition there.”
The Talented Pema Sisters
Charlie Pema immigrated from Italy while Zamira Pema immigrated from Albania. They raised their two daughters – both brilliant students and now successes in the business world – in Revere. The Pema sisters inherited their strong work ethic from their parents.
Ada Pema attended Revere High School and graduated from Harvard College in 2010. She works as an international product manager at Amazon. Jennifer Pema attended Milton Academy and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2019. She works in investment banking as an analyst at Citigroup in New York City.
The sisters say that the family will miss the day-to-day interactions with their Revere customers.
“We really feel by being part of Esposito’s, we have been part of the fabric of this community and have just really enjoyed getting to know everyone that has walked through those doors. We will miss the 6 a.m. calls and people walking in for the holidays and the lines outside the doors,” said Ada.
Said Jennifer, “We’re excited that in Saugus we’ll be able to continue to serve the same customers, the ones that we’ve been able to see grow through the generations and who would bring in their own children for the same pastries they were raised on.”
The family will continue to reside in Revere.
Mayor Arrigo Thanks Pema Family For their Contributions to the City
Mayor Brian Arrigo thanked the Pema family for their contributions to the city through their ownership of Esposito Bakery for many years. He wished the family continued success in its proprietorship of the bakeries located in Saugus and Danvers.
Following is Mayor Brian Arrigo’s statement:
“I’m sorry to hear that this Revere landmark will close. Revere always has enjoyed a great reputation for some of the best Italian bakeries in New England, and for so many years Esposito’s was a destination both for locals and for people coming from afar to Revere for scali bread, pizelle, pastries, bakery pizza, cannoli and just an endless list of delicious food. The Pema family has been the epitome of a successful local business proprietor. Their success is evident, as they have opened new shops while many of the old, classic bakeries have closed. Their success shows that the public still craves homemade, traditional baking. Revere will miss Esposito’s bakery, and it will leave a void in our community, but I wish the Pema family continued success as they continue the Esposito’s Bakery tradition.”