For more than 35 years, Bruno Alonzi, has risen at 4:30 a.m. to head to work in the bakery business.
And he has done so with a smile.
“I absolutely love what I do,” says the 52-year-old baker who owns and operates Bruno’s Bakery and Cafe in Innisfil with his wife, Silvia.
Baking is in his blood, as Alonzi was trained by his father, starting at age 15, as the two worked side by side at the Open Window Bakery in Toronto (now closed).
After working at and operating other bakeries, he opened Bruno’s in 2012.
The neighbourhood bakery serves up cookies, pastries, pies, breads, buns, custom cakes and more. The 34-seat café also offers specialty coffees, Italian ice cream, fresh pizza, deli meats and cheeses, homemade frozen meals, and a hot table.
“Our hot table is very popular and features anything from veal or chicken Parmesan on a bun, to cabbage rolls and soups,” he says.
Everything is made in house and from scratch.
Along with offering breakfast, lunch and dinner service, Bruno’s also offers Sunday brunch.
“We do a bit of everything,” he explains.
Must-have items include Bruno’s rye bread, egg bread, chocolate buffaloes, custard tarts and danishes.
As for his food philosophy?
“Use the proper ingredients and if you are going to make it — do it right.”
His favourite part of the job is seeing the satisfaction on customers’ faces when they visit the bakery to pick up bakery items, or to enjoy a savoury meal.
While known for his baking skills, Alonzi garnered plenty of media attention last summer when he returned a prized lost guitar to Ontario singer-songwriter and Juno nominee Danny Michel.
The guitar had been accidentally left at the Tesla charging station at Park Place in Barrie, when the band was moving equipment between vehicles.
“I had noticed them moving things around, but after their vehicles left I realized they had left a guitar behind.”
Rather than leaving it there, he picked it up hoping he could find its owner.
Soon after, the baker started seeing Facebook posts about the lost guitar from the distraught musician, “I got in touch with him right away to return it.”
Danny Michel was incredibly thankful, and word of the good news story travelled fast. “It got lots of media attention from CBC, local TV and radio stations and newspapers,” he explains.
Michel even played his guitar at the bakery, and encouraged others to visit the bakery and buy “cakes, breads, pastries and assorted desserts made and baked from scratch by a super-kind honest man,” and to thank him online.
He received kind messages from around the world — even one from Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
“To this day, people still come in and thank me for returning that guitar,” he says with a smile.
Bruno’s Bakery and Cafe is located at . For more information, call
or visit them on Facebook. Open seven days a week.