Master Baker Don DePetrillo began his career in 1967 with a small bakery on the corner of Veazie Street and Branch Avenue in Providence. The bakery gave the young DePetrillo a way to express his creativity --- something that could not be fully cultivated and communicated behind a desk. In fact, not many people know that before he opened his first bakery, Don had a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Wentworth Institute.
After graduating, DePetrillo devoted himself entirely to the world of Italian baking. He adapted and perfected many of his already delicious family recipes in order to provide the public with a taste of authentic and traditional Italian cooking. Bread, for example, is made with only a few ingredients, and pizzas are prepared following those same advices that only family recipes can transmit.
As the business grew, Don started to experiment with new formulas and products. He slowly changed the basic bread formula to one that he uses today. The bread can be stored in your freezer for weeks, and when defrosted, it will still taste as fresh as the first day it was baked. To say it travels well is an understatement. People from as far away as Florida buy his bread, calzones and pizza chips and ship them home.
Between the late 70's and mid 80's, DePetrillo's Pizza and Bakery gradually expanded from one store on Douglas Avenue to nine stores scattered around the state. All this time the attention to detail required to produce a superior product was always his passion. He personally oversaw the main bakery and was always near the ovens to ensure that his products were being baked to his satisfaction.
In the mid 1990's, Don moved to Florida, where he joined Lucarelli's Bakery as head baker. While there he began to tinker with some new ideas he had in baking. By the time he returned to Rhode Island, he had formulated a recipe for Focaccia dough that could be produced in batches. He opened Focaccia King in Johnston to try out his ideas and it was an immediate success. He expanded this to two stores before selling them.
In 2007, Don partnered with Alicia McArthur. Pooling both of their talents, they started The Original Italian Bakery in Johnston, bringing together all of Don's recipes --- recipes based on fresh ingredients and attention to quality. They also added some new recipes to the normal line of fresh baked breads, pizzas, calzones and pastries, such as 9-grain breads and his wildly popular "Pizza Chips". Always inventive, we can't wait to see what he's got "cooking" in new products for the future.