The Village Bakery and Cafe is a neighborhood place helmed by Barbara Monderine, who as a small child learned to bake and cook at her mother’s side. Being Italian-American, the Monderine family was very, very serious about food.
Barbara had quite the successful career in the music business, but her passion for food and cooking, especially baking, could not be quashed. There was a period of time where she was following Billboard’s Hot 100 by day and feeding a hot oven by night, all night, as word spread about the delicious treats she was creating in her home kitchen.
Home kitchens tend to be perfect for home use, but turning out 10 dozen sheet pans worth of goodies as the midnight oil burns wasn’t exactly ideal. Leaving the music business behind, Barbara became the founding co-owner and baker at Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock, CA.
With her Italian heritage tugging at her apron strings, Barbara’s next venture was to purchase Villa Rosa Italian Bakery, a decades-old wholesale bakery in Arcadia, CA. Using an old Sicilian cannoli shell recipe inherited from the previous owner and adding her own line of gorgeous, traditional Italian cookies and pastries, Barbara developed Villa Rosa into a successful operation with clients all over Southern California.
Villa Rosa’s small kitchen and antiquated oven could not cope with the volume of goodies being produced, so the search for something bigger and better began. In the summer of 2009, Barbara acquired LA Bread in Atwater Village--which came complete with a huge commercial kitchen and a four deck French Pavillier oven.
Combining the best elements of Villa Rosa: top quality sweets made from natural ingredients – and LA Bread: artisanal bread baked fresh daily, Barbara revamped the new location’s cafe menu, expanded her line of pastries and opened up as The Village Bakery and Cafe in October of 2009.
Sweet dreams ARE made of this.