2348 Arthur Avenue

One of the most popular stories one hears on Arthur Avenue is that of how in 1924 the wife of Mario Madonia, the Palermo-born founder of the then six-year-old bakery, still in its original location on nearby Adams Place, gave birth to her youngest son right in the bakery when a car crashed through the front window, sending her into premature labor. The child, Peter Madonia Sr., was incubated in a shoebox placed next to the oven. The bakery is now run by partners Peter Jr. and Charlie La Lima. In 2018, Peter Jr. returned to the family business after a distinguished career as Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s chief of staff and as chief operating officer of the Rockefeller Foundation. In fact, Peter Madonia had once before left public service to steward the bakery. In 1988, his brother Mario, who had run the bakery,died in a car accident, and Peter, who had served in the Koch administration in City Hall, and then as deputy commissioner of buildings and as deputy commissioner of the Fire Department, returned to the bakery in an emergency capacity. In what seems almost like the plot of a Hallmark movie, he now appears to be back for good.

Photo courtesy of Bronx Little Italy.