Boulangerie Marguerita
By YP Contributor

Little Italy’s Bakery Through the Decades

To get a sense of what it’s like to run a business that has served a neighbourhood’s evolving tastes over the course of decades, just ask Peter Petrella, owner of the famous Little Italy bakery Boulangerie Marguerita. “It all started in 1904, when a man named Alary bought a city lot, which he gave to his son, a master baker,” Peter explains. “He opened his bakery in 1910, and spent the next few years kneading his dough.”

The bakery would then change hands a number of times over the years. “Sometime in the ’40s, an Italian immigrant bought the business out and changed its name to Boulangerie Marguerita,” Peter continues. “Then, ten years later, his son-in-law bought him out, and, around 1965, he decided to expand the bakery’s capacity to meet demand. Since he needed capital to fund the expansion, he sold parts to his employees, among whom was my dad. Flash forward to 2004, and the partners wanted to unload their shares; I couldn’t bear to see the business disappear, so I bought them all out and have been sole owner of Boulangerie Marguerita ever since.”

Our tomato pizza is known throughout Montreal, just like our dough, which people from Ontario and the States come to the city to buy. - Peter Petrella, owner
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Pizzas, Breads and Italian Specialties

After taking the helm, Peter decided to honour the bakery’s traditional recipes in the hopes of continuing to charm Montrealers for another ten decades. “I kept all of the original recipes and methods, which are all very artisanal and authentic,” he explains. “For example, the dough is fermented longer, which gives it a unique taste, and we use very little machinery in the process; everything is prepared by hand.”

To modernize the bakery in a way that pays homage to its roots, Peter added new products to Boulangerie Marguerita’s menu. Since he took over, customers can choose from a wider variety of pizzas and Italian breads, as well as a host of products from Il Bel Paese. “Our tomato pizza is known throughout Montreal, just like our dough, which people from Ontario and the States come to the city to buy,” says Peter.

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A Rich Heritage and a Bright Future

Owning a business with such a rich and storied past as Boulangerie Marguerita’s is a source of pride for Peter. “It’s a real privilege to build this business’ future on its rich foundation," he says. "Having been able to maintain our products’ quality and unique je ne sais quoi makes me equally proud; it’s what makes the bakery what it is today!”

Boulangerie Marguerita, homemade bread, pizza varities, Italian specialties, Italian bread, bakery
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