It was arrivederci for another slice of the past.
One of a shrinking number of San Pedro-born iconic, old-world bakeries shut its doors Friday, Jan. 31.
After a 10-year run, Amalfitano Bakery, 29111 S. Western Ave., in Rancho Palos Verdes — but just across the street from San Pedro proper — closed its doors.
Customers flowed through the bakery during the day, wondering where they’d get their next birthday cake or bread, said owner Anthony Amalfitano’s daughter, Mariea Mattera.
The last baking sheets of Italian specialty pastries were finally pulled from the oven on what was a sad-but-busy day. Amalfitano specialties included fried cannoli, fresh-baked banana whipped cream cake, honey balls, rum balls, rice pudding pies, custards, wheat pies and Italian Patagonia breads.
Now 73, the man his daughter called the “best baker in the area” decided it was time to retire.
The son of an Italian fisherman, Amalfitano hung up his apron once before, when he sold his share of the old Ramona Bakery to his partner. He was 53 back then. But after 10 years, he was prodded into making a comeback by his grandchildren — and the new Amalfitano Bakery opened its doors in 2010. Working off of old family recipes, he hoped to train a new generation in the ways of traditional Italian baking.
“It’s in his blood,” Mattera said. “Ever since I was a little girl, there was always something baking or cooking in our kitchen.”