For over 100 years, the Calise family has been baking and delivering the freshest, best tasting bread and rolls.
The Early Years
- In the early 1900’s, Francesco Calise immigrated to the United States from the Isle of Ischia, Italy. Francesco was in pursuit of the American Dream and in 1908 he founded Calise & Sons Bakery, Inc.
- The original bakery was a small retail bakery located in the Federal Hill section of Providence and produced fresh Italian breads and rolls as well as Italian pastries, biscuits and cookies. These products were then delivered house to house first by horse and buggy, and later by truck.
- When Francesco retired in 1954, his four sons, Gaetano, Peter, Michael and Joseph succeeded him. The second-generation brothers continued to focus on retail sales and home delivery and experienced very little growth.
The ’70’s & ’80’s
- The business was virtually bankrupt when it was sold in 1972 to the third generation of Calises- Michael, Robert and Joseph. The third generation brothers closed the retail bakery and began to focus on wholesale accounts.
- In 1979 the bakery moved its operations to the Silver Lake section of Providence.
This was a larger bakery and offered the opportunity to expand production and sales. The company experienced rapid growth in the 1980’s by acquiring competitors that were either going out of business or being sold. These acquisitions allowed the business to expand its route distribution, sales staff and customer base.
- In the early 1990’s the Calise brothers invested in more efficient machinery to increase productivity in the Silver Lake bakery. After a few more years of rapid growth and with the addition of a national account, the bakery was at full capacity.
- In 1999 Calise & Sons broke ground for its new bakery. The new bakery would provide growth potential for the next several years. The family was excited and thrilled to see its vision of a new bakery developing day by day.
The New Millennium
- In July of 2000 Calise & Sons opened its brand new, state of the art bakery in Lincoln, RI. The bakery contains its first fully automated production line in the history of the business.
- In May of 2007 the management of daily operations transitioned to Michael R. Calise, President and 4th generation leader of the company. A strong senior management team is in place to assist Michael and a Board of Directors is formed. The Calise family also celebrates the graduation of Michael C. Calise from the American Institute of Baking. Michael, also 4th generation, is now VP of Operations.
- Calise & Sons Bakery celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2008. The Calise Family is extremely proud of their growth as a company and their contribution to the community over the years. The Calise brand grows even stronger and is now found in all states from Maine to Virginia.
- In 2009 the Calise family commits to an expansion plan in order to gain capacity needed to continue to grow its business. In May of 2010, Calise & Sons broke ground on a 14, 500 sq. ft building addition with a partial mezzanine. Along with the building addition, the bakery purchased a new mixer, automated final proofer, 100’ oven, and cooling spiral to complete its second fully automated roll line.
- By early October, the building was complete and Calise began installation of its equipment. In March of 2011, the installation was complete and Calise began shipping product from the new production line.
- In August of 2015, Calise purchased the route sales of Quinzani Bakery of Boston, MA. Quinzani Bakery was an institution dedicated to serving its local community with very unique bakery products and outstanding customer service. This purchase allowed Calise entrance into the Boston market and created a base of business for Calise to further its strategic plan of developing DSD routes in one of the most concentrated market areas in New England.
- In 2016, the Calise reaffirms its commitment to DSD routes and providing its customers best in class service. In March, Calise opened two new distribution facilities on the same day—one in Wilmington, MA and the other in Wallingford, CT. The DSD routes expanded overnight from 54 to 81 routes providing service to all major retailers and foodservice customers in all of RI, MA and CT.