Home Essex County An Inside Look at Calandra’s Bakery, an Essex County Legend

An Inside Look at Calandra’s Bakery, an Essex County Legend

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Whether you are picking up some donuts and danish for the office or a cake for that special someone, Calandra’s Bakery always has something fresh and enticing on the menu. Located at 234 Bloomfield Avenue #5101 in Caldwell, Calandra’s Bakery creates bread, pastries (including stuffed cupcakes!), gelato, and specialty cakes on a daily basis. To celebrate 60 years in business, Calandra’s Bakery will be returning to its original 1962 prices for French bread, making each loaf just $0.22 – but only for a day. Keep reading to learn more about Calandra’s Bakery and the history behind this local legend.

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The Freshly-Baked Menu

Each day, Calandra’s Bakery creates an entire line of baked products including fresh bread, desserts, pastries, pies, cakes, and cookies. Not only does Calandra’s Bakery bake and decorate its own specialty cakes for all important occasions, but it also bakes more traditional cake options in the pastry section. These cakes are sold by the slice, and sometimes even made into miniature cake bites or smaller 3” cake versions. Frequent flavors to grace the menu include: cherry cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake, napoleon cake, and carrot cake. As any customer of Calandra’s Bakery knows, the pastry cakes are always as beautiful as they are tasty.

The shop also has espresso, cappuccino, American coffee, and tea to help kick off your morning. Hot bread is served every hour throughout the day making Calandra’s Bakery a go-to place morning, noon, and night.

The shop in Caldwell is open from 7:00AM to 9:30PM Sunday through Thursday and 7:00AM to 10:00PM Friday and Saturday, providing the same reliable service the community has come to expect at Calandra’s Bakery over the past 60 years.

To celebrate this anniversary on Sunday, May 15th, Calandra’s Bakery dropped the price of its French bread to the original – making each loaf just 22 cents.

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Outdoor Dining at Calandra’s Italian Village

As if freshly baked pastries and bread weren’t enough, Calandra’s Bakery has another authentic Italian dining experience to enjoy. Il Vecchio Café and La Taverna Bar + Lounge are both a part of Calandra’s Italian Village, located at 234 Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell. The diversity of Italian dishes and the comfortable yet traditional atmosphere are the perfect combination for a relaxed and cultural Italian experience. With multiple spaces and both indoor + outdoor dining options, Calandra’s Italian Village is great for date nights, a corporate dinner, or even a wedding rehearsal dinner.

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Special events happen each week including Sunday Brunch in the Taverna Lounge, which features drink specials, smooth jazz, and loaded Bloody Marys; and Pasta Night on Tuesdays, where customers enjoy 50% off select pasta dishes and 50% off bottled Calandra Family wines.

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The History of Calandra’s Bakery

The Calandra family + team oversee the daily operations at all three Calandra’s Bakery locations in New Jersey.

“What makes this job rewarding is being a third generation Calandra family member to bring joy to customers with all-natural foods including Calandra’s famous four-ingredient bread and house-made marinara sauce,” Thomas Calandra told The Montclair Girl.

Luciano Calandra, an Italian immigrant, had been in America for just five years when he went into business for himself and opened a small Italian and French bakery. Mr. Calandra and his wife, Ortenza, worked hard day and night— and their bakery quickly developed a reputation for producing warm, crackling bread. The business took off, and soon after Mr. and Mrs. Calandra’s two sons, Anthony and Luciano Jr., began working in the family business. 

The family business has grown substantially since 1962. Today, the Calandra family owns and operates three bakeries which deliver products to more than 500 supermarkets, delis, and restaurants in the tri-state area. The Calandra family also owns and operates several hotels, restaurants, and apartment buildings in northern New Jersey. The family also produces and sells their own line of olive oil, coffee, fresh pasta, homemade sauces, and wines from their vineyard in Italy.

While much has changed since 1962, two things remain the same: Calandra’s Bakery is still synonymous with delicious bread, and the family remains driven by hard work and a focus on customer service.

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Calandra’s Bakery is located at 234 Bloomfield Avenue #5101 in Caldwell. Customers can call 973-226-8889 or reach out to [email protected] with questions or to place a specialty cake order. The other two Calandra’s Bakery locations are at 244 US Highway 46 East in Fairfield and at 204 1st Avenue in Newark.

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