Nicolo Alessi moved from Italy to Tampa in 1912, and he brought with him plenty of Old-World baking wisdom. Shortly after his arrival, Nicolo opened Alessi Bakery, delivering fresh Italian and Cuban bread to his customers via horse and wagon. In doing so, he established the expectations for quality baked goods throughout the city.
Nicolo's vision evolved through the generations; his son John became known throughout the city for his cake-decorating skills, winning awards for the delicious (and aesthetically pleasing) cakes that the bakery still sells today. Today, Phil Alessi carries the family's torch, overseeing a company that's grown into a national brand. Its 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in northwest Tampa turns out fresh-baked breads and baked goods that adhere to the family's strict standards. However, just because they've earned national renown doesn't mean that the family has forgotten its roots. The company's retail shop at 2909 W. Cypress St. continues to dole out fresh baked goods, sandwiches, and cakes to different generations of fans, and its catering wing provides full spreads to parties and events throughout the region.