Portraits | John DeRobertis

DeRobertis Caffe - First Avenue between 10th and 11th StreetsJohn Galayda John DeRobertis.

In April 1904, Paolo DeRobertis opened a bakery on First Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets, which he named Caffe Pugliese, after his birthplace in the Apulia region of Italy. Today, John DeRobertis Jr., grandson of Paolo DeRobertis, commutes to New York City daily from Nutley, N.J. to work at the bakery (now renamed DeRobertis Caffe) to continue the long family tradition.

Mr. DeRobertis, who grew up on 11th Street, says he is filled with memories from his childhood every time he looks out the store window. “I take pleasure in serving our customers, who come from all parts of the world and seeing their pleasant faces,” Mr. DeRobertis says.

The bakery is open every day from 9:00 a.m. until midnight and ships orders across the country. “All of the baked goods are made on the premises,” boasts Mr. DeRobertis. He says that the best-selling items are the shop’s Pignoli cookies and cannoli. “We also have a huge selection of wedding cakes. If people see a wedding cake they like, they describe it or bring us a picture, and we recreate it,” he adds.—Deanna Yurchuk