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Family Ties: Auddino’s Italian Bakery

Mitch Hooper

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This article was written in Stock & Barrel Magazine prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. While the landscape of the dining scene in Columbus has been drastically altered, the stories of these long-standing generational establishments still remain.

Photos by Brian Kaiser

It’s 6 p.m. and Rosario “Roy” Auddino is starting his work day. He says he’ll cut himself off of coffee before 9 p.m., but he’ll switch to Cokes as an alternative. He buzzes around the industrial bakery shouting questions and commands to a crew as they battle against time. It’s the ultimate form of time efficiency; not a step is wasted and there’s not a minute to sit around. When it comes to making money while the sun is still out, it requires burning the midnight oil. He has to be finished before the next crew comes in for cleaning, packaging, and all the rest, but this is nothing new for Roy. He’s been training for this since he was born.

Roy is the current co-owner of Auddino’s Italian Bakery, a longstanding establishment in Columbus that has surely had its bread or pizza crusts make their way onto your plate. Alongside him in ownership are his two brothers Dante and Marco. If you’ve ever dined at J. Alexander’s, had a sub from Massey’s, or shared a Buckeye Box from Adriatico’s, you’ve had one of Auddino’s famous recipes. And when it comes to Auddino’s history, all roads lead back to family.

It started with Roy’s parents, Michael and Rosa Auddino. The two grew up in the same town in Italy as friends. And their road to America was full of challenges.

“[My dad’s] first pair of shoes came when he was seven years old,” Roy recalled. “My mom’s family immigrated with her brothers and sisters to Ellis Island, the last of those days, in the early ’60s. They were quarantined and separated from [each other] for 14 days. It was devastating for her.”

Michael’s arrival in America took a different route. After growing up in Italy, he moved to Germany where he worked odd jobs to make ends meet. Eventually, these endeavors led him to the bakery where he would learn to become a full-time baker. He decided to make another move; this time across the pond from Germany to Toronto. Interestingly enough, this move to Canada also reignited his connections to his future wife’s family, who was residing in Columbus.

“It led into courtship, her and him got married, and then he moved from Canada to here working odd end jobs,” Roy explained. “They used to go to Linden Community Bakery in 1965. That was their date. My dad would come down to visit and the two would go there.”

Little did they know, the Linden Community Bakery would lead to a career. The owner of bakery told the couple that he would be closing down shop in the near future due to kidney problems, and offered it up to them. Michael was an experienced baker, but there were concerns.

“My dad didn’t have the money,” Roy said. “So my mom was [working] at Lazarus, got a loan for $500, and bought Linden Community Bakery for my dad.”

Ever since that fateful day, it’s been a complete and total family affair.

“Other kids had Easter; we had the bakery. Other kids had Christmas; we had the bakery,” Roy said. “We didn’t have babysitters; we had the bakery.”

Roy recalls seeing photos of himself as young as two days old, where his mom is breastfeeding him in one arm, and rolling out loaves of bread with the other. By the time Roy was six, he would be working alongside his relatives on the daily tasks. And by the time he had hit the ripe age of 10, Roy was working delivery routes and even driving the truck at times. He even met his eventual wife, Taura, through Auddino’s connections with other local businesses. It didn’t take long before he knew he was going to be the eventual successor of the bakery.

“I knew in my early 20s that my brother and I were probably going to be the next generation owners. You just kind of get that gut feeling,” Roy said. “It’s not something you think or plan ahead for. It just happens and you grow into it.”

Now the process for baking and delivering bread is on an industrial level. Auddino’s houses eight massive ovens which can hold large racks of unbaked bread. This process works like a well-oiled machine. As one rack of bread is finishing in the oven, a properly proofed rack is pulled out in preparation, and an unrised rack of bread is placed into the 120 degree warmer to encourage leavening. Each finished rack is taken to its designated spot awaiting the 5 a.m. crew to arrive and bag them. Roy stays on top of all of this. He knows exactly what to do in any baking crisis, exactly who and where each individual loaf is going, and inside secrets from popular restaurants on how they prepare Auddino’s products. Hell, he even knows how to operate a zamboni. When you’ve worked for a place for more than 50 years, you learn a thing or two, Roy joked.

Roy and Taura are parents of five children. If Roy’s childhood is any indicator of what his children’s lives would be like growing up, it should come as no surprise that they find ways to help out around the bakery. Two of his older sons, Michael and Antonio, are currently in college, which they were able to help finance by working at the bakery. They will also use what they are learning in college to take Auddino’s to the next level, which will focus more on marketing and expanding. If you’ve been waiting for a second location of Auddino’s, hold tight; Roy said it’s something they are planning for in the future.

The family involvement both transcends and continues through generations. Rosa is still no stranger around the retail shop, despite her age. Michael and Rosa have gone as far as planning separate vacations to ensure one is always near the bakery to lend a hand. Carley, Roy’s daughter, also works part-time on the retail side of the family business as she works her way through college. Taura’s family is, and has been, heavily involved; in its original iteration, her brothers helped deliver bread around town. Roy said these efforts are the reason Auddino’s has been able to stick around against corporate giants such as Wonder Bread.

“We’ve had companies lowball us. They’d go, ‘You sell it for $3.50 a dozen?’ Then they’d come in and sell it for $2.99 a dozen just to take the customer away,” Roy said. “And it has happened. It only lasts for so long; they come back for our product.”

Of course, working with family isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. As Roy put it, when you work with family, everyone is right. There’s also hardly a chance for call-o.s here. Everyone has a job to do, and it must be done or there’s a risk of bottlenecking the process. While tensions may flair and disagreements might arise, the common goal of protecting and growing Michael and Rosa’s bakery always outweighs the rest.

Roy emphasized the weight a second-generation owner carries, noting that many establishments fall through this transitional period. He’s making sure that’s not going to happen at Auddino’s. Whether it’s nurturing relationships as old as the bakery itself with local partners, expanding their services into different regions of Ohio, or planning for the future with his own children, it seems Auddino’s is here to stay for another generational go-around.

“I like to think of it as my mom and dad started the row boat, my brothers and I came around and put sails on it, and now we are going to give the next generation the boat to sail in it,” Roy said. “It’s going from hard labor to using the brain instead of hard labor with the wind, and then, all aboard.”

Auddino’s Italian Bakery is located at 1490 Clara St.

millennial | writer | human

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Food & Drink

National Brisket Day is Tomorrow!

Julian Foglietti

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Photo by Brian Kaiser

With meat shortages starting to take their toll and National Brisket Day around the corner here's a roundup of some spots you can go to to get your brisket fix.

Legacy Smoke House

With their main location in Hilliard and a food truck moving throughout the city, Legacy Smoke House is a solid choice for brisket on National Brisket Day, just be sure to get there while supplies last. Enjoy!

Pecan Pennys

Just off Main Street, Pecan Pennys is ready to fulfill your brisket needs. If your looking to feed a family though be sure to get your orders in advance as they're requesting 24 hours notice on dinner bundles.

Ray-Ray's Hog Pit

With locations in Franklinton, Westerville, Clintonville and Powell Ray Ray's Hog Pit is open for business with brisket stocked at all locations. #NationalBrisketDay is the best day!

Hoggy’s Restaurant and Catering

Located on Bethel Road, Hoggy’s will be stocking brisket for both dine-in or carryout. Feel free to stop in or stop by!

The Pit

With a new location opened up on Parsons Ave. The Pit BBQ will be offering brisket for the National day. Celebrate with some tasty brisket!

City Barbeque

City Barbeque will be offering brisket for the National day! So get excited and get ready for some yummy BBQ brisket!

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Community

{UPDATED} Indoor Dining: what’s NOT opening?

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Los Gauchos

PINS Mechanical Co.

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Hey Pinheads. We're so excited to hear that our world is beginning to reopen! Many of you have reached out asking about our opening plans so we wanted to provide a brief update on Pins Mechanical Co. While we fully trust and support the decisions of our local leaders, it’s our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our team members and guests, while not sacrificing the experience that makes Pins, Pins! With that in mind, none of our locations will be opening in May. There are many unknowns with COVID-19 and we hope that taking this extra time will help our guests and teammates feel better about the measures we’ve put in place to keep all of us safe. For example, on top of our already stringent cleaning procedures, we’re installing UV technology at all locations (ensuring you always have clean balls to play with). We’re looking forward to welcoming back our kick-ass team to train and adjust to this new normal. Once our people feel comfortable + confident, we’ll know it’s time to get rollin’ again! Thank you for your incredible support, online sales, photo shares + kind words over the last two months. Even when you couldn’t show up, you showed up and we’ll never forget it! We’re hopeful that everyone will be safe and smart as we begin to reopen the doors to the small businesses that make our communities so special. See you soon, Pinheads!

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Old North Arcade

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Dear friends, . As you are most likely aware, Governor DeWine has permitted the reopening of bars and restaurants for dine-in seating effective 5/21. We are very grateful that our leadership is now offering businesses the choice to do what they think is right. We offer no judgment for the bars and restaurants that are/have chosen to open. However, for our particular business, and for our staff, we still think it's too early. We are going to remain closed this week and next but do hope to open soon. Your understanding and patience is greatly appreciated and we cannot wait to see you all. It is important to us that we apply an extra layer of safety and precaution on top of the govermental recommendations. Tentatively, we are looking at the end of May to reopen in a very limited capacity but we're following local and national developments very closesly so will be quick to bail if things turn south. Your continued support has been quite humbling. Thank you. Stay healthy, support local, and be more than kind to one another. . Cautiously optimistic, . ONA Staff

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Watershed Kitchen + Bar

101 Beer kitchen

They are delaying opening dine-in service until May 26th.

Matt the Miller's Tavern

Stay tuned on social for patio and dine-in updates!

J. Gumbo's

J. Gumbo's will continue to stay open for online ordering for pick up and delivery - stay tuned for dine-in updates.

Mouton on High

The Whitney House

The Whitney House will be opening Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 11 am.

The Guild House

Stay tuned for opening dates!

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Stay safe everyone 💕

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Smoked On High

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace

The Woodbury

The Woodbury will be opening its doors for dine-in service on June 1 2020.

Roosters

Roosters are not opening dine-in until May 26th 2020.

The Eagle

The Eagle is temporarily closed - stay tuned on social for updates!

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In light of the government mandated closure of dine-in business for an indeterminable period of time, we’ve made the incredibly hard decision to temporarily close The Eagle Columbus. . Given the truly unprecedented and quickly evolving nature of this health crisis, we’ve been forced to make the best decisions we can, with the information we have. As the true scale of this crisis has been revealed, it’s become impossible to deny the impact this mandate will have on our business and team members. This decision was made as all of our decisions have been: with the health, happiness, well being and best interests of our guests and team members in mind. . The state of Thunderdome Restaurant Group is strong and we look forward to seeing and serving you all on the other side of this. Truth, courage, and be well.

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Lavash Cafe

Tiger + Lily

Tiger + Lily is sticking to carry out for the time being. Follow them on social for updates for dine-in!

Yats Grandview

Red Lobster

Red Lobster is continuing to stick to curbside pickup, delivery, or touchless pick-up.

Harvest Pizza

Bareburger Columbus

Bareburger is opening for dine-in on May 26th, 2020.

Mezze

City Barbeque

Local Cantina - Creekside, Grandview, Dublin, Westerville, Hilliard Locations

Creekside Local Cantina is delaying opening indoor dining until May 26, 2020.

OH Pizza and Brew

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Coronavirus

Don’t be that guy/gal who forces your favorite bar/restaurant to permanently close; here are the rules

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Once the flood of COVID-related documentaries start to infiltrate our Netflix and Hulu feeds, one of the most debated topics will be which smoking gun the auteur chooses. NBA player Rudy Gobert recklessly rubbing his hands over every microphone during a press conference days before testing positive comes to mind first. The spring break bro who wouldn’t let the virus stop him from raging will make its rounds. Even the scene at Standard Hall made some people’s skin crawl.

The Ohio Investigative Unit will be doing its best to monitor situations at restaurants and bars in order to prevent any future anecdotes like the ones listed above. Local law enforcement agencies will be assisting the OIU to make sure that establishments are complying with the Dine Safe Ohio order. With the issues that were brought up following the opening of outside dining on May 15, the OIU has made specific stipulations for patrons to follow:

  • 6-foot social distancing between employees AND members of the public
  • patrons must be seated while eating and/or drinking 
  • no more than 10 people to a table
  • no billiards, video/arcade games, dancing, or card playing
  • patrons must follow specific guidelines put in place by restaurant/bar

For those who have no shame dancing by themselves in public, you’re golden. However, patrons can be written up for not following the OIU’s guidelines. 

Some people may be able to shoulder a citation, but bars and restaurants are the ones who have the most to lose here. In a press conference on May 18, Gov. Mike DeWine mentioned that OIU will issue citations that could result in the permanent loss of liquor licenses.

So once again the ball is in the consumer’s court: follow these very simple rules and avoid the risk of putting your favorite restaurants and bars out of business for good. In 2020, being spring break bro is the worst look.

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