Chicago Eater - Suburban bakery Gonnella Baking Co. is laying off 40 workers and transitioning from fresh bread production and delivery to selling frozen dough, the Tribune reported. The company runs frozen dough production locations in Schaumburg and Pennsylvania, as well as a baking facility in Aurora. The company, originally founded in 1886, completed its last fresh bread deliveries on Saturday. This is bad news for local sandwich companies including Al’s Beef, which used Gonnella’s French bread for its Italian beef delights.
Sad day for my #1 (The original on Taylor Street) as we say goodbye to the soft sweet classic bread that is Gonnella delivery. Pound for pound one of the city's most treasured delicacies: half a loaf bathed in God's sauce:
That's my appetizer. It gets the beef-buds in my mouth working overdrive in anticipation of the big boy. The bread in gravy is honestly so good you wonder how the $1.95 price tag doesn't put the place out of business. After all the bread's good enough for double that.
But alas no more my friends. Gonnella moves on with a frozen dough focus while the rest of us are left yearning for one more dance with the italian beef bread prom queen. But just as you reach for those hips, the lights slowly fade back on. There is no more Gonnella.
Like I said it's a very sad day for the beef community, especially for those local and loyal to Al's Beef.
Next order of business is figuring out who gets dibs on the Al's Beef account. There's a lot of other players in the Chicago market that have been licking their chops for their chance. Joe Public probably thinks D'Amato's can just slide in there and take it but a lot of people at the top of the beef industry would argue that D'Amato's isn't your ideal beef bread. It's got crunch you love on a traditional sub, but that crunch doesn't play well with the full dip a good Italian beef requires. No disrespect to D'Amato's and their ovens, I'm just calling a spade a spade. You wouldn't want me playing you out of position anyways would you?
That's why I think there could be a dark horse sleeper to get the next bread contract at Al's. It's been so long since they've been open to another bakery that you have to imagine all the stops are getting pulled out for that sales meeting. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the process. Maybe an independent 3rd party to settle ties or disputes? Let me know. I love a good beef.
PS - I got this today on twitter and I legit almost died.
Just a bad day to be an Italian Beef.