The year was 1957.
The first Frisbee rolled off of the assembly line; I Love Lucy went off the airwaves; and an Italian family opened up Angelo's Bakery on King St. in London, sharing old world-inspired breads with London's working class Italian immigrants. Five years later, Adolfo and Theresa Ferraro, themselves Italian immigrants, saw a void in the market, and took Angelo's--named after the first baker to ever work for the company--to another level, opening what would become the company's flagship store on Thompson Rd. in London, re-named Angelo's Bakery & Deli, in 1962.
Adolfo and his wife, along with their five children, grew the company for decades, mainly through introducing Italian creations to the non-Italian population in London, who kept coming back for more. In the 60s and 70s, the bakery expanded into freshly butchered meats. In the 80s, it added a grocery section, taking on the chain grocery stores that were a dime a dozen in cities of London's size.
In the 1990s, the family added another location in London's booming northwest end, which featured a dramatically enlarged store space, as well as new format additions like a pasta bar, cheese counter and larger selection in grocery items.
In 1999, Adolfo, who worked at his own company until his final days, passed away, leaving the company in the hands of his widow, Theresa, and two of their children, Caroline and Pat.
Unfortunately, this is when things went downhill.
With an aging owner, the role played by the children in the company became larger. Unfortunately, so did the kids' financial demands of the company. Rumour has it that family conflict led to the creation of the fourth Angelo's site in 2007, on Wonderland Rd. S., which split the two (grown-up) children between the two newer locations.
Three years later, with $3.8 million in debt, and a family that was driven by money more than the values of customer service and hard work that once drove the company, all locations shut down, with the company declaring bankruptcy. Including this location, the flagship Thompson Rd. store that had serviced London for almost 50 years.
Though one location has since re-opened, this store, which was standing room only on any Sunday afternoon, now sits abandoned.
I've been monitoring the location for the last year, but have not been by in the past couple of months. While it once looked as though securing it was a priority for someone, now, entry is rather easy as the windows have been removed and parts of the wall have crumbled. Unfortunately, the interior was gutted, and dark, rendering most of my shots unusable, but I wanted to, above all, share the story of this once-bustling bakery, which proves that while blood runs thicker than water, it does not run thicker than gold.
UPDATE: As of 03/2016, this has been demolished and a new building is under construction on the property.