Longo’s Bakery has roots dating back to 1925 when Nick Dalo began baking bread in a small brick oven behind his home. He would start baking around 2:00 am, and finish at 8:00 am when he would hand deliver his quality baked Italian bread door to door. As his business grew, he constructed a building, installed a larger oven, expanding the business several times until his retirement in 1967 when he sold the bakery to Joe Longo.
Longo continued baking Italian bread and added an item commonly known as cold pizza to the product line. This unique pizza was topped with parmesan and romano cheese and cut into 3×3 squares, then packed 12 slices to a box and commonly eaten at room temperature. This item became a regional favorite among blue collar workers and remains as a staple in many Northeast homes today. Rather than deliver door to door, Longo flooded supermarkets in the Hazleton area with bread and pizza. Longo continued the expansion of the bakery both in size and number of routes until his retirement.
In 1986 James Capriotti purchased the bakery from the retired Longo. Under the new ownership, the Bakery continued supermarket service and expanded the bakery line into food service items. Six days a week, specialty bread and rolls were baked and delivered to 80 plus restaurants, pizzerias, and delis in the Hazleton area and the Poconos. By 1991 Longo’s had outgrown the old facility and moved to a newer 10,000 square foot brick and concrete building in a prime location in the business district of center city Hazleton. A retail bakery store was opened at the new location and the items sold included bread, rolls, as well as pastry, cookies, and decorated cakes. Additional wholesale routes were added for distribution.
In 1997 Longo’s acquired the brand name and routes of Mama Nardone’s Pizza in Wilkes-Barre. Mama Nardone’s is a boxed pizza similar to Longo’s, but made with a more conventional pizza cheese that requires baking prior to eating. It is sold in area supermarkets along with our other Longo’s Brand retail items.
In 2000 Longo’s completed the purchase of Petruzzi’s Bakery. This began a stronger presence in the Food Service category for Longo’s. The Petruzzi crust is hand-stretched in a pan and proofed for over an hour prior to baking. Today some of the area’s most prestigious resorts and tourist attractions use the Petruzzi Crust as the foundation of their Pizza Program.
A short time later, in 2002, Longo’s took over the Philly Crust Bakery in Philadelphia. Philly Crust is a thin crust made on a hot dough press, and is known for it’s high moisture content and flavor profile. Philly Crust completed the Bakery’s transition from producing Italian bread products to specializing in baking pizza crusts for both Retail and Food Service. This transition in focus as well as expanding production requirements necessitated another move for Longo’s into their current renovated facility on 21st street in Hazleton. Completed in 2005, the new building includes a beautiful new retail area open to the public which offers fresh baked goods and breads, pizza products from the bakery, as well as an impressive selection of Italian Specialties.
The new modern building will allow for expanded production well into the future. Longo’s has established a working HACCP plan for the various production processes which ensures compliance with the food safety standards expected in the baking industry.
As you can see, Longo’s is on the move and remains strong despite the challenging business environment in the Bakery industry today. We would love to have the opportunity to partner with you in exploring the possibilities of offering our unique, quality products to your customers, friends, and family. We hope you find our new website helpful and informative, please use the contact form to get in touch with us.
Philly Crust Company
138 West 21st Street
Hazleton, PA 18201
Philly Crust Company
458 Fairview Street
Tamaqua, PA 18252