In the great tradition of Italian-American family-grown businesses, the Bronx’s Artuso Pastry has become a nationally recognized culinary treasure through dedication and authenticity, one fabulous cannoli at a time.
The tale begins in 1930 when 11-year-old Vincent Artuso Sr., his sisters Anna and Victoria and brother Jack left their native Reggio di Calabria, Italy and headed for America, settling in the mainly-Italian Belmont section of the Bronx, also known as Arthur Avenue. All the children worked to help the family, but as Vincent diligently built Depression-era shoeshine boxes, he yearned for something more. So, the intrepid Vincent started a job washing pots and pans at Spagnuolo’s Pastry Shop on East 187th Street. He pursued his passion by training there as a pastry chef. Thus it was for the love of pastry, and a natural knack for the art form that upon returning from his service in World War II Vincent felt inspired to purchase the very shop that had nurtured him, renaming it Artuso Pastry.
Having married his long-time sweetheart, Betty, in 1943, Vincent set about growing his family as well as Artuso’s with his brother Jack and sister Anna by his side. In 1957, he and Jack opened a Mount Vernon, NY location, which later relocated to Thornwood, NY and in 1965 Anna opened a store in Yonkers. By this time the family business had become well-known throughout the tri-state area, a phenomenon strengthened by acts for and within the community.
This tradition of family and service to the community continues on today. Vincent’s sons Anthony Sr. and Joseph run the business alongside Anthony’s son, Anthony Jr., who manages the wholesale facility in Mount Vernon, and Anthony’s daughter Concetta, among other family members. “We always try to hire from within the community, because that’s what builds up the tree from the roots,” Says Anthony, Jr. In 2005 they were inducted in the Westchester County Hall of Fame for Family Business Success. Other honors include Inc. Magazine’s Inner City 100 Award, an ‘Excellent’ rating for 9 years straight in the Zagat Survey and the Golden Apple Award for food safety and sanitation excellence.
Artuso fans and customers can rest assure that they will have same commitment to quality as they grow. “We have our hearts in this,” Anthony asserts. “By laying a foundation for the next 3 to 5 years, we can develop a fully branded program, servicing in-store and specialty businesses around the country, food service establishments and possibly a franchise prototype.”
To this day, when one travels to Belmont, the “Little Italy of the Bronx,” Artuso Pastry’s flagship store can be found right where Vincent opened it in 1946, much as it was then--with a couple notable changes. The store was tripled in size in 1974 to take up half a city block, and in 1996 the street on the shop’s corner was officially renamed Vincent F. Artuso, Sr. Way.
Come grab a cannoli. Artuso Pastry welcomes you to the Bronx.