The Ferrara Bakery opened in Chicago, Illinois in 1908. Its founder was an Italian immigrant, Salvatore Ferrara, who left his home in Nola, Italy in 1900 to come to America. He was 16 years old. He had been taught how to bake and make candy and he used these skills to open up a shop on Taylor Street in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood.
Salvatore married Serafina Pagano who worked in the shop and became known as “The Angel of Halsted Street”. (Serafina is the feminine version of the Italian word for ‘Sera[him’, a type of angel.) Salvatore put Serafina in charge of the bakery and set about to develop the candy end of the business. He started the Ferrara Pan Candy Company. He created Lemonheads and Atomic Fireballs, candies which are still very popular today.
For a while Ferrara joined forces with ice cream maker Victor Lezza. Lezza specialized in spumoni ice cream. The company is now located in Bellwood, Illinois. A sign on the front of the building which reads Pagano Lezza & Company dates back to their mutual operations.
Today the company still produces candy and baked goods. Its production facilities are located at 2210 West Taylor Street in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
Text © 2019 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.