1. Heating of the wood oven
2. Cleaning of the ashes
3. Washing of the stones where the bread and pizza will be baked
4. Placing of the “pitta” bread.
5. Placing of the round “calabrese” bread. This is a larger thicker bread than the Pitta
6. Placing of the elongated “filone” bread
7. Arranging of the bread
9. Placing of the pizza
10. Closing the oven door for baking
11. Taking out the bread and pizza
Donato (Donny) Bruno, middle brother
From left to right, Rosaria di la Marinara and Caterina di la Marinara (sisters)
From back left to right; Rosina & Caterina (daughters of Bruno and Rosaria) Front row: Bruno and Rosaria Donato di la Marinara (both passed away in 2010 and 2011)
James Bruno, eldest brother
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Rosaria, Caterina, & Bruno
8. Placing of the square pan moulded (focaccia) bread
David Bruno, youngest brother.
Rosina and Caterina
Our History
About Us
Left to right:
Donny, James and David posing with little Giulia, first born of Donny Bruno
Giulia markes the beginning of the next and 5th generation of our baking family
Donato's Bakery & Pizza
161 South Court St. (next to Renco Grocery)
Phone (807) 345-7273
Donato’s Bakery History

Donato’s Bakery has its origins in a long standing family tradition of bread makers going back a century to a southern Italian mountain town of Simbario, Calabria. Bread making a century ago was not much different from that of the ancient Romans. The bread itself is a simple recipe of flour, water, salt and yeast and not much more. It was baked in a wood oven that was carefully watched by a skillful eye since thermometers and gages were non existent. Although the recipe is a simple one, the art of making it is anything less than simple. The process involves an intricate knowledge of the ingredients and process along with several hours of laborious kneading, setting, rising, shaping and baking at precise steps and sequence.

This tradition can be traced back to the early 1900s through the “Marinara Clan” with the teaching of this skill to Caterina Primerano (di la Marinara). She was the first daughter of Concetta di la Marinara born in 1903. By 1910, young Caterina was already able to make bread on her own. Once she was married to Giuseppe Romano, he was so impressed with the baking skills of his young wife that, as a wedding present to her, he had a commercial oven built for her and she quickly started to make bread for those who asked for her services. Payment for her skills usually came in the form of some of the bread that was made for the respected families or other forms of monetary disbursements.

Caterina di la Marinara had four daughters whom she has passed this traditional skill to. They are; Rosaria(†), Concetta(†), Maria(†) and Immacolata. All of whom were active in the bread making process alongside their mother, even after they all got married. Her daughters continued to use the original wood oven for their own personal and commercial baking need as well. Immacolata once remembered, as a young girl, was tasked by her mother to take a basket full of bread to the near by village to sell for some extra cash. It should also be noted that Caterina’s wood oven stayed in use right up until her passing in 2001.

The eldest daughter, Rosaria(†) (Married to Bruno Donato(†)), along with her sister Immaculata, brought this tradition over to Canada and specifically to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Rosaria(†) has two daughters, Rosina and Caterina whom also have been taught the traditional skills passed on by mother to daughter. The youngest daughter, Caterina, named in honour of the original matriarch, has in turn passed this skill on to her Sons and specifically to Donato (Donny) who is now the principal bread baker at Donato’s Bakery in Thunder bay. Caterina (Cathy) could not be more pleased with her family’s fervour to continue the tradition of the “Marinara” bread making clan that now stretches back more than a century.

Caterina Donato Bruno di la Marinara, Granddaughter of the original matriarch Caterina Primerano di la Marinara(†) of Simbario, Calabria, has herself 3 Sons (James, Donny & David) whom she has passed her skills to and who are, even now, making bread in the traditional manner by hand using only the simplest ingredients with no preservatives and following the original steps and process as set out by their Great Grandmother. Today, although the bread and pizza made in Thunder Bay are no longer baked in a wood fired oven, they are however, baked on stones much like those found in the original wood oven back in the old country.
Ancient Process of Traditional Bread Making (here we see Caterina di la Marinara and her original wood oven in Simbario, Calabria). Caterina is the one wearing the black skirt.
Products above may not appear exactly as shown. Product, pricing and participation may vary by hour of day. Delivery areas and charges may vary by location and minimum delivery order conditions may apply. All taxes and delivery charges included in prices. Please note that for the purpose of completing your order, Donato’s Bakery must collect customer and order information. This information may be retained by Donato’s Bakery to help serve you better in the future. Pizza phone orders and pizza deliveries may not be available between 5:00am and 7:00am, we do not provide delivery guarantees nor guarantees of delivery at any hour.

Donato’s Bakery / DonatosBakery.com; fully licensed.

We do not provide gluten free pizza, all products are made in an environment that contains wheat. Our sweets, bread, dough tomato/pizza/pasta sauce, meats, cheeses and vegetables are cut and or made in house and are not gluten free and may be cross contaminated with wheat. For more information, call for our full ‘Nutrition’ facts.

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