Joey & Pat’s Bakery Restarts from Scratch

Photo by Krista L.

Photo by Krista L.

 

Joey Tittoni made all of the pastries that he and his wife, Pat, once sold at their coffee shop on Folsom and 21st streets.

Now, he says, he’s having to restart his business from scratch.

Up until the last day in March, his more than two-year-old business was going well. Then, at 2 a.m. on March 31, a Lexus plowed into the front of his bakery, making the building look like a lopsided cake and causing enough structural damage to close the beloved corner bakery.

“I used to work 24/7, you know, so, I am taking this as a vacation,” he says. “When something like this happens, you have to make the best of it. We are cleaning; we have to be prepared to start over. We are starting from zero.”

He says he has started from zero before. He first learned how to bake in Italy, spending 14 years working with a family in Rome.

When he was a teenager and wanted new shoes, he said, his mother would tell him to bake pastries to earn his shoes. He did and acquired a trade in the process. When he arrived in the United States, he worked at several shops, including Dianda’s on Mission Street.

What he wanted, he said, was to bring a slice of his Italy to the Mission and in November, 2011, he and his wife opened Joe & Pat’s Bakery.  In a time of hipster bakeries it seemed a bit like a throw back, but it was one that worked - in no time at all, the bakery had a following.

Nowadays, while he wades through the process of  building permits, he keeps busy teaching baking at City College, donating food to the local churches and overseeing some of the construction at his bakery.

Mostly, he said, the delays getting permits have been similar to those that he had when he first opened the shop. Friends confirmed this.

“It’s taken one month and a half to get a permit from the city to put the building back [to how it used to be], the structure, the door,” said Mary, a friend who was at the bakery waiting for a contractor. “It takes time.”

Mary, who declined to give her last name, added that the landlord had been helpful and that fortunately the insurance company will be covering the construction expenses.

Brett Howard, a building inspector, said the bakery has the permit for the structural framing and the structural concrete. They still need the permit for electrical work.

So far, they’ve replaced the foundation, and remodeled the entrance and two front windows. Once everything is finished, they’ll need a final inspection.

“The life of a baker is very tough,” said Joey Tittoni, referring to the long hours and early mornings, but mostly, he said, he feels bad about his customers who come by often asking when he will reopen.

“This month…it has to be this month,” he said.

6 Comments

  1. SFrentier

    I like this place. Good quality, fair prices, and not too sweet, just like in Europe! Americans need to learn to use less sugar. Dummies!

  2. Orrdu

    Yay! So happy they’re re-opening. Thanks for the back story- I’ve always wondered about the owners…it’s wonderful having an Italian bakery in the neighborhood. Please consider letting us know when they actually open for business.
    And, Lydia Chavez, did they ever catch the women who did this?

  3. Kathleen

    Almond croissant is my favorite. Will be nice to see them back in business again.

  4. Blurpy

    Glad to hear they’re coming back. And it’s crazy to think that they needed to ask permission from the city in order to repair their own building! I walked by there a while back, when it was still boarded up, and the city was even nice enough to slap a notice on the plywood to take care of all the graffiti that had been sprayed on it, or face a fine! Talk about kicking people when they’re down.

    Would also love to see a follow-up on who exactly was responsible, if the police did indeed catch them. I mean, they left a car at the scene of the crime, and, from what I recall, someone had checked into the ER with injuries shortly after that accident took place. Any word on that?

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