So, you’re thinking of moving to the North End. Few Boston locales can compete for character. The neighborhood is sometimes called Boston’s “Little Italy,” but it’s much more interesting than its New York City counterpart. Part of it has to do with size. Measuring only one-square-mile, the Boston North End is a place where everybody knows your name, and, thanks to Bova’s Bakery, everybody knows where you can satisfy 3 am cannoli craving.
Antonio Bova: The Baker’s Apprentice
Although bakeries once dotted every corner of the North End streets, only three withstood the test of time: Parziale’s, Boschetto’s and Anthony Bova & Sons. Guiseppe Parziale came to the North End in 190, and opened his bakery shop at 7 Charter Street. As his business expanded, he realized that he needed to hire additional help. When he moved his bakery to to 79 Prince Street, he hired Italian baker named Antonio Bova.
The Bova Bakery Dynasty
Antonio and Guiseppe worked together until the Parziale Bakery moved to its current 80 Prince Street location. Rather than follow his mentor, Bova started his own business. He called it A. Bova & Sons Bakery. The shop now sits at the corner of Salem and Prince Street.
It’s A Family Affair
Some say that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a family to run a 24 hour bakery. The Bova family team work agreement prevents bakery burnout. Team Bova includes:
- Anthony and his brother Ralphie
- Dr. Anthony Bova, the local dentist, and his brother Georgi
- Joey Jr.
The brothers and cousins take turns operating the bakery full-time for six months, then taking one year off to pursue other business pursuits. The year off ultimately benefits the business. Joey Jr., for example, spends his off year working as a chef. He recently introduced new menu items to Bova’s Bakery, including carryout dinners such as creamy pasta alfredo, tortellini, chicken parmigiana and meatballs with shells. This is good news for hospital workers, police officers or anyone who works irregular hours. If you don’t feel like cooking when you come home, you’ll find ready-made meals at Bova’s Bakery. Bova’s is just one of the many good reasons to move to the North End, but the narrow streets, strict parking regulations and general lack of elevator buildings are a mover’s nightmare. Be kind to the folks who schlep your stuff up the stairs. Reward their hard work with a generous tip, and a couple of cannolis.