06 July 2009

Stella D’oro Factory In Bronx to Close


Stella D'oro, a sweets brand known to all New Yorkers and a rare food product actually made in New York, will close its factory in the Bronx in October. The baked goods will continue to be made, but elsewhere, announced Brynwood Partners, the private equity company based in Greenwich, CT, which bought the company in 2006.

Last week, a federal judge ordered Stella D’oro to reinstate 134 workers after a protracted 10-month strike. This week, the company invited the workers back. It also announced that it would close the factory in October.

The decision to close Stella D’oro’s only factory, which is based in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, was made by Brynwood Partners, the private equity company based in Greenwich, Conn., which bought the company in 2006. The closing appears to be the result of a labor dispute that has festered over the past couple years. Writes City Room:

Last week, a federal judge ordered Stella D’oro to reinstate 134 workers after a protracted 10-month strike... The workers had gone on strike on strike last Aug. 14, two weeks after their contract had expired. The owners maintained that the hourly wages of $18 to $22 an hour and nine weeks of paid leave made the factory unprofitable. It wanted significant reductions in wages.

Last week, an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington found that the company had improperly refused to bargain with the union by declining to provide the union with a copy of its 2007 audited financial statement.


Stella D’oro was founded in New York in 1932 by an Italian immigrant, Angela Kresevich, and her husband, Joseph, who came from Trieste, Italy. The company was sold in 1992 to Nabisco and then to Kraft, before it was bought by Brynwood Partners. Stella D'Oro's bakery is on West 237th Street at the north end of Kingsbridge, Bronx. Stella D'Oro always has a big following among Jews, because some of their desserts were made with no milk or butter, making them "Pareve" and acceptable at both meat and dairy meals. In fact, when Kraft took over, they stupidly removed the Pareve designation from Stella D'Oro's baked products, and then saw sales drop. They put the insignias back.

The factory, which used to have a restaurant next door, once employed 575 people in New York. No more.

12 comments:

Rachel said...

what another shame.. stella d'oro was one of my favorite (pareve!) cookie brands growing up. i didn't even know they were made here!

brief note: pareve products are made with NO milk or butter..

Brooks of Sheffield said...

That's, of course, what I meant. I fixed it.

IrishNYC said...

I have many fond memories of the restaurant from the 70's and maybe early 80's. I've wondered for a while whether it was still there. Oh well. Sad that the whole company is leaving NYC.

The Baker said...

This is another case of an Investment Company trying to run a business they no nothing about. Use cheap ingredients, cheap labor, so they can have there million dollar houses in greenwich, drive big mercedes. Quality is no longer an issue it has been replaced by greed.The Union fought for what they got over 75 years. This Company used to make money when quality and customers were #1, If it was Managed properly it would still be a gold mine

Cathy said...

:-( Fond memories from my childhood...the absolute mouthwatering scent wafting through the neighborhood, particularly strong in the springtime. The wonderful restaurant that hosted many a pizza party. A part of Kingsbridge slips away. What's next - S&S cheesecake?

Rachel said...

Too bad. I'll miss it. I love that when you take the 1 train to 242nd St. you can actually smell the cookies baking.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

So much love for Stella D'oro!

Cathy, you intrigue me strangely with your reference to S&S Cheesecake. Tell me more.

Cathy said...

S&S is literally right around the corner from Stella on W. 238th St. When you have a chance, take the #1 train to the 238th St. stop. Exit on the southeast side, walk 1/2 way up the block and you'll find a tiny storefront for S&S Wholesale/Retail. Been there almost 50 years. HANDS DOWN, the BEST cheesecake EVER! Better than Juniors, IMO.

Better yet, Brooks, let me show you!
http://www.sscheesecake.com/index.html

You MUST try...so worth the trip!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

You're right, Cathy, I must go. Kingsbridge deserves a visit!

Cathy said...

And here's another site that has pics of the storefront and cheesecake:

http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/bronx/kingsbridge/sands/index.htm

bronxgriff said...

@ Cathy.....S & S hands down the BEST Cheescake in NYC....used to be served at the Waldorf.

No Stella...a shame...remember the cookie smell all the way down to the top floor of St. Johns's 7 long blocks away.

Steela cookies I played Little League for them.....

And manufacturing in the city gets smaller and smaller

felicia lessington said...

I worked @ stroking d'pro & I loved it I was top on the packers line oh how I wish I could get that job back, not for the pay but for the packing bringing in production.