1885 Matteo D'Agostino is born in Scortino, Italy. Orphaned at a young age, he is brought up by a family who owns a chain of Italian pastry shops in Italy. Matteo travels to France, Italy, and Switzerland learning to perfect the craft of a master pastry chef and executive chef. After serving in World War One he sought his fortune in Buenos Aires, Argentina becoming a partner in a new hotel venture which still stands today across from the Buenos Aries opera house. Over the next sixteen years he rose to the top of his profession and then decided to seek his fortune in America.
1920 Matteo settles in New York City working for several large New York hotels as an executive chef, for Willow Cafeterias as their plant foreman and then for Dubins Bakeries in Brooklyn, New York.1939 He buys a small bakery in Troy, New York named La Bonbonniere Bake Shop (pronounced lah bahn bahn ear’ (more widely used) OR lah bohn bohn yaire’ (a more pronounced French accent on the “yaire”). Matteo introduces fancy French pastries to his customers. He starts with a staff of three bakers and after one year he has fifteen bakers working full time, including his two sons.
1945 The bakery in Troy closes after Matteo's death and his family moves to Bronx, New York. A new bakery, Paul's Bake Shop on White Plains Road in the Bronx is opened by his son. The bakery closes after six years when a decision is made to move to New Jersey.
1945 - Paul's Bake Shoppe, White Plains Road, Bronx, NY
1952 A new store opens in what is now Edison, New Jersey. Business doubles in the first few years. A policy of "freshness always" is the mainstay of La Bonbonniere. To this day "freshness" remains our policy. La Bonbonniere's reputation flourishes and people from other towns around Edison began patronizing this "fresh" bakery.
1952 - La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe, Rt. 27
1966 Paul and his wife, Mary, take over the entire operation of La Bonbonniere. All three sons are taught the intricacies of baking by the master.
1960 - La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe
1966 - La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe
1966 - La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe
1977 A second La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe opens in South Plainfield, NJ. Paul's son, Matthew is named General Manager.
1982 A third store opens on Route 1 in Fords (Menlo Park Terrace), NJ. An order department is opened to handle call-in orders.
1982 - La Bonbonniere Menlo Park
1988 A fourth location opens on Route 130 in North Brunswick, NJ.
1990 - La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe, Rt. 27, Edison, NJ is remodeled
1992 La Bonbonniere opens its fifth location in Scotch Plains, NJ at the former site of "Glasstetter's Bakery". Matthew is named Chief Operating Officer and General Management is taken over by Mike Amato who's family had a bakery on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.
1994 - La Bonbonniere Menlo Park is remodeled
1994 La Bonbonniere's Corporate Cake Club program is started. Every company gets a 6th cake free based on the average price of the previous five.
1995 La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes is chosen by New Jersey Monthly Magazine as the 1995 Family Business of the Year. We thank NJ Monthly as well as the sponsors of the award: Bell Atlantic, NJ 101.5 FM Radio, The Mid-Atlantic Companies, Ltd., Corestates Bank, Coopers and Lybrand, Lowenstein Sandler, and the George Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In March of 1995, La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes opens its sixth location in East Brunswick, NJ. Two years later it will close because the convenience store it is located inside must close.
1996 In March, La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes opens its seventh location in Westfield, NJ.
1997 Corprate catering begins and meets with instant success
1998 We purchase the Rolls Royce of ovens - a French Bongard Oven to produce superior quality hearth breads.
After having a growth period of many years we find too many stores make it difficult to control our quality. We have never produced goods for wholesale customers because large production runs in a retail bakery may sacrifice quality. In December our locations in Scotch Plains and Westfield are sold to a former assistant manager of La Bonbonniere and he renames the shops My Town Bakery.
1999 La Bonbonniere now concentrates on only four locations and quality is much easier to control to better serve the public. Mike Amato, GM leaves to take a position as head pastry chef of NY, NY in Las Vegas, NV.
La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes is named one of the Best in Central Jersey by The Home News Tribune Readers Choice Awards in October.
2000 Our South Plainfield and North Brunswick locations are totally remodeled to bring all four locations into the next millennium as the finest bakery environment to shop in no matter which of our four locations our customers visit.
2001 Sadly, in December of 2001 Paul F. D'Agostino passes away. Matthew becomes president and sets forth to carry on the tradition taught to him by Paul of quality and craftsmanship.
Mary and Paul D'Agostino, 2001
2002 A new location is opened at 356 Amboy Avenue by Main Street in the heart of the town of Woodbridge. Formerly known for 47 years as the "Cookie Jar", the building is slated to be totally refurbished outside and in for early 2003. Not wanting to destroy the tradition in the town, La Bonbonniere decides to use the former name and renames the bakery La Bonbonniere's Cookie Jar. North Brunswick location is closed on December 31, 2002 and replaced by this store.
2003 La Bonbonniere's Cookie Jar bakery is totally renovated. Woodbridge Chamber of Commerce award La Bonbonniere's Cookie Jar a beautification award at a holiday luncheon at the Woodbridge Sheraton.
2004 Woodbridge Township approves The Cookie Jar Event Room in March. It becomes the official meeting place of the Woodbridge Small Business Forum for the Chamber of Commerce in October.
We are proud to be currently servicing many top quality companies among them are the following corporate accounts:
Lord & Taylor
Ray Catena Motor Car
Bank of America
NJ American Water
Drug Fair Group
Withum Smith & Brown
Plus over 200 other local companies!
La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe is a family owned and managed corporation of third generation bakers who have seen their business grow from one unit to multi units during over 50 years proving quality, craftsmanship and value will always succeed.
1987 Father, Paul D'Agostino and son, Matthew D'Agostino designated as Chartered Master Bakers
1992 Atlantic Bakery Expo Certificate of Excellence
1992 "Top 20 NJ Company" - Business of Central NJ Magazine (now known as NJBiz.com)
1995 Named "Family Business of the Year" by NJ Monthly Magazine
1993 Bakery Development and Training Evaluation Award - International Deli, Dairy and Bakery Association.
1996 - Designated by Modern Baking (the premier industry magazine) as "Masters of Baking and the Bakery Business". Matthew P. D'Agostino, Paul's son tests and passes his Certified Master Baker Test given by the Retail Bakers of America. It is a 2 day hands on test which very few bakers pass on the first try.
1999 Voted "One of the Best of Central Jersey in 1999" in the Readers' Choice Awards of the Home News Tribune
2001 Received approval status for externships by the world renowned Culinary Institute of America with schools in Hyde Park, New York and Napa Valley, California. This means a student after one year of schooling at CIA will extern at La Bonbonniere for 18 weeks before resuming culinary education.2004 Our president, Matthew P. D'Agostino, honored as "Small Business Person of the Year" by the Woodbridge Chamber of Commerce.