Inside Minardi Baking Company

Rita Minardi stands with her husband, Joe Minardi. Joe and his three brothers inherited the bakery when their mother, Annunziata, died. Joe still delivers bread daily.Landon Nordeman
At Minardi's bakery, all St. Joseph's bread is ordered, and later sold, by weight. Baker Armando Pedro seems to be able to cut accurate pieces every time, though he still weighs them just to make sure.Landon Nordeman
Armando Pedro is a baker from Portugal who has worked in Minardi's bakery for many years. Because he makes the the St. Joseph's bread so well, the family entrusted him with their recipe, and he is now responsible for making all the dough. Here, he wheels a rack of loaves into a proofing room, where they will rise and develop flavor as they ferment.Landon Nordeman
Rita Minardi holds a photo of herself from when she was in her early 20s. At the time, she had just left the Dominican Republic and come to the United States to seek her fame as an actress.Landon Nordeman
Rita Minardi holds the Ace hair combs and paring knives that she uses to shape the elaborate breads. These tools are stored in the bakery for most of the year, and taken out only when St. Joseph's Day approaches.Landon Nordeman
Two freshly shaped St. Joseph's staffs and a monstrance rest on the board, ready to be proofed before going into the ovens for baking.Landon Nordeman
At the Minardi's bakery, all the pastries are made upstairs. Here is an aged, yet active, set of pastry decorating tips.Landon Nordeman
A baker carries a tray of pastries.Landon Nordeman
Upstairs at Minardi's bakery, a baker finishes stuffing and forming pastries.Landon Nordeman
Rita Minardi rubs a wash made from water and egg over a St. Joseph's staff, to give the bread a lustrous shine.Landon Nordeman
A finished 2 lb. monstrance (a holy staff which holds the Eucharist). When it is being prepared, the ball is scored first and then tucked into a little pouch at the top of the staff before being baked.Landon Nordeman