When Salvatore Ferrara first arrived to Chicago in 1900, he earned a living using the pastry- and candy-making skills he had acquired in his home country of Italy. Within a few years, Salvatore opened Original Ferrara Bakery, an Italian bakery that gained popularity during the formative years of Taylor Street’s Little Italy neighborhood. The bakery became especially well-known for its candies, which eventually branched out into a second business, Ferrara Pan Candy Company, the manufacturer of perennial favorites such as Lemonheads and Atomic Fireballs. In the meantime, Sal’s wife Serafina nurtured the bakery, maintaining its reputation as she became known in the neighborhood as “the Angel of Halsted Street.” And though the area has seen rampant transformation over the last century, Original Ferrara Bakery still stands, delighting patrons with its renowned candies and pastries.
Now in its third generation of Ferrara ownership, the Original Ferrara Bakery is run by Sal and Serafina’s grandchildren who continue to adhere to their family’s original practices. They use all-natural ingredients to create signature items such as cannoli cake–rum-soaked layers of fresh strawberries, Italian custard, and cannoli cream–as well as elaborately tiered wedding cakes, and bite-sized indulgences such as petit fours and Italian butter cookies. Over the years, a lunch menu has been added to the mix, offering options including Neapolitan-style pizza and chicken parmigiana