Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

So Many Shared in the Success of Lorenzo's

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

So Many Shared in the Success of Lorenzo's

Article excerpt

The story of Lorenzo's begins with a 1987 journey to Italy and France - my first taste of European culinary offerings. While there, I discovered what bread should taste like. That experience was the foundation for The Real Bread & Pastry Company, that later became Lorenzo's Breads & Bistro. Many people played a part in bringing the business to life, especially Julie Hiryak (a partner), Darren Gill, Franco Mannino and David Pampush, who let us bake bread in their pizza ovens; and local shops such as Adele's, A La Carte and the Newburgh Country Store, who sold our loaves in those early days. Joe O'Daniel offered us bargain rent to have a bakery on Fourth Street. To quote Joe, "I want you here." He was a true visionary, and the location remains a bakery - now it is Just Rennie's.

The Real Bread & Pastry Company began with only three employees - Gill, Hiryak and myself. We were open three days a week. Each of us had other jobs; baking essentially was a hobby. Then along came Linda Negro, at that time the food editor with the Courier & Press, with her article about this little bakery on Fourth Street. The infant business was forever changed.

After the article, lines stretching around the block became the norm. The demand became so great that over the next few years we grew from three employees to 14 and added a vegetarian restaurant serving up to 200 lunches each day. We even imported a French oven that offered steam injection, along with a stone baking surface taking our breads to the next level to offer true European-style crusty loaves to our loyal customers.

Our small business meant long hours, always training employees and maintaining quality. Like others, we lived the business 24/7. Customers became friends. Many visited the bakery daily for a fresh loaf, a cup of coffee with a pastry or a vegetarian lunch.

In late 1994, another dream became possible with the sale of the business. New owners had taken over, allowing my move to Perugia, Italy.

While there, I became a student of the language and toured Europe extensively by bicycle. Returning to Evansville from Spain in 1996, the new owners were struggling, and I resumed ownership of the business. …

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