Originally from Altamura, Italy, Gianni and Anna Silvestri own La Casa Del Pane, which moved June 14 to a new location on St. Pete Beach.
ST. PETE BEACH – The smells of fresh baked bread, roasted coffee and other Italian cuisine greet customers as they open the doors of the new La Casa Del Pane.
The popular St. Pete Beach bakery and eatery moved June 14 to its new location at the northwest corner of 71st Avenue and Gulf Boulevard.
The new location, with its larger seating areas and expanded bakery, fresh food, pizza, and grocery displays, is a dream come true for its owners Anna and Gianni Silvestri.
“I grew up in the business. We moved from Italy in 1980 when I was 13,” Anna Silvestri said. “We grew up eating healthy, right and good food. We like to share. People misunderstand quality and quantity. … We use fresh, simple ingredients, no preservatives. Every day we ate bread and pasta. It’s eating right, not big portions.”
Customers come from across the Tampa Bay area and around the globe.
“We meet all different people from all over the world. The food is fantastic, because it is family-made, fresh every day,” said Maddalena Clemente, who helps manage the bakery for her sister and brother-in-law.
“We serve customers like our own family. Everyone who walks in, you walk in as a friend and you leave as family,” Clemente said.
The family-owned and operated bakery opened its doors originally in 1991 in the Bella Vista area of St. Pete Beach. Maddalena and Anna’s brother Dino Clemente moved from New Jersey where he had a bakery and opened La Casa Del Pane on the island. The Silvestris bought the bakery from Dino Clemente in 2005, Anna Silvestri said.
The family is from the town of Altamura, known for its bread. Starting in the wee hours each day Gianni Silvestri bakes all kinds of breads, croissants, pizzas, cannolis, Danishes and other pastries. The bakery’s foundation is on bread with everything else going along with it. The bakery’s name is “house of bread” in Italian, Anna Silvestri said.
“The fresh bread trade is almost going away,” said Anna Silvestri. Her husband was a police officer in Rome and he came here and became an Italian baker.
“It is like having a little bit of Italy in St. Pete Beach,” she said. “If it tastes good, people are going to like it. This is an authentic Italian experience.”
The bakery is about building relationships, as well. Inside patrons can mingle around a coffee bar and a large family table.
Visiting from Switzerland with her family, Ivana Damm discovered the bakery online through the TripAdvisor website and found the bakery to be like going to visit Italian family, she said.
“We have been here for a week every day,” Damm said, as her 2-year-old nibbled on a chocolate croissant.
“You get the best baked good, particularly the bread,” said Annette Reifschneider of St. Pete Beach, a bakery customer for 15 years. “It is well run – crisp, clean and refreshing. I just love it.”
Beyond baked goods customers can purchase fresh mozzarella, sandwiches, espresso, omelets, pasta, lasagna, meatballs, specialty groceries, sauces, and more.
The bakery is located at 7110 Gulf Blvd. Current operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.