Economy Kills Lombardi’s Bakery in Petaluma

This is very sad news to me. Growing up in Petaluma, Lombardi’s was a staple of the community. When we flew home to visit from Portland, Oregon, we would always make the trip to Lombardi’s for their most excellent French Bread. We would often take a full bag home with us on the plane, just to have when we got home.

I also have the memories of my grandparents, who passed away in 2003. They used to always have Lombardi’s bread at their home. I remember the smell of the freshly baked rolls (bought at Lombardi’s of course) baking in her oven and then served with the rest of her home cooked meal. It’s a smell you don’t forget!

The bakery was founded in 1951 by Bruno and Evelyn Lombardi, who grew up in South San Francisco and operated a bakery in Calistoga before buying the Petaluma location. They sold the business in 1984 to Tim McSweeney and two partners, Fred Fortunati and Dan Quinlan.

In addition to sourdough loaves, Lombardi’s baked sweet French bread, sliced bread and rolls. ALL were the best! RIP Lombardi’s, you’ll be missed!

From the Press Democrat:

Lombardi’s Petaluma French Bakery, which has been baking sourdough bread in Sonoma County for 57 years, will deliver its final loaf Saturday.

The business is a victim of high costs and increased competition in the baking industry, said Tim McSweeney, one of three partners in Lombardi’s.

“It’s a sad time,” said McSweeney. “The industry has changed a lot.”

Nineteen employees will lose their jobs. Lombardi’s tried to sell the business, but there were no takers, McSweeney said. The company’s Petaluma retail outlet will close Monday.

Employees were told of the closure Wednesday and customers also are being notified, he said.

There’s still demand for skilled bakers, and he hopes Lombardi’s employees find jobs with other baking companies, McSweeney said.

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2 Comments on “Economy Kills Lombardi’s Bakery in Petaluma”

  1. troy y Says:

    I was visting Petaluma last week from Tucson, Az and my 1st stop was at Lombardis….I was speachless about there closure. I grew up in Petaluma and still hold ptown close to my heart but this really hurt.

  2. KP Says:

    Oh no!
    I lived in Sonoma Co. (Petaluma and Cotati) for many years and Lombardi’s Extra Sour French Bread was my favorite sourdough bread. I would ask people to bring a loaf (or three!) out when visiting.
    This is such sad news.

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