When the Orlando family built a new bakery in this city’s Kinsman neighborhood in 1980, they were assured by city officials that an industrial park soon would follow the family’s trailblazing investment in a blighted neighborhood.
“You see this parking lot across the street?” said Chet “Sonny” Orlando, pointing to a paved lot filled with employees’ and visitors’ cars. “Nothing but empty crack houses there — we bought those too, tore them down and built this.”
Outside Orlando Baking Co., the aroma of fresh breads and rolls mixed with rosemary, garlic and fennel could cause the most dedicated dieter to lose his will.
That contrasts starkly with the poverty encircling the grid of numbered streets leading from the interstate to the guarded, gated bakery that employs 40 family members and 400 local residents.
The Orlando family — whose 140-year history as bakers began in Italy and moved to America a century ago — works hard to make their community better: They donate surplus bread to a local food bank; they hire people from the neighborhood. They’re good stewards.