Joseph F. Berenato
Family warmth at Lucca’s Bakery
Lucca’s Bakery, located at 631 S. Egg Harbor Rd. in Winslow Twp., has been serving the people of Hammonton for more than 60 years.
Owner and founder Anthony Lucca said that he first got involved in the bakery business while attending high school in the 1950s.
“I was working part-time with my cousin Tommy Lucca. He had the bakery on Third Street, and across the street from him was Angelo Costa, who also had a bakery. I was helping on weekends and whenever they needed help; even during the week and whatnot, I’d go in for a couple of hours. He also had a store there; it was a bakery and store. I helped out in the store, too, a little bit,” he said.
Anthony Lucca said that he had originally planned to become a mechanical engineer, attending Temple University where his older brother was also a student.
“It was very expensive for my father to try to pay for my brother and myself, so that made it pretty difficult. What I did end up doing, I was going in high school with Mary Ann—who’s my wife—who was my high school sweetheart. She helped me an awful lot ... It made it easier for both of us, because we were working together,” he said.
Soon, the two started their own business.
“In 1959, we started on our own because I was helping my cousin Tom. When he passed away, I ended up going and renting the bakery from Angelo Costa. From there, we ended up moving to this location where we’re at now and continuing the bakery,” he said.
Anthony Lucca said that he first started with a small delivery route in Hammonton, which included the Hammonton Auction—which used to be located at the intersection of Route 30 and Egg Harbor Road.
“We were serving them, and we served Bagliani’s, Inferrera’s—Bagliani’s had just started, and, as a matter of fact, Tony Inferrera and I started on the exact same day ... We served stops in Hammonton, and the people in Hammonton were fantastic to us. They really supported me 100 percent,” he said.
Mary Ann Lucca also expressed her appreciation.
“We have a great deal to thank the people of Hammonton, who supported us so much when we first started. We really appreciate the people of Hammonton and the surrounding areas,” she said.
Since their founding, Lucca’s has expanded the delivery of their products—which include bread, dinner rolls, bagels and pizza shells—to an area that spans from Cape May to Cherry Hill.
Anthony Lucca, now 81, said that he no longer does as much at the bakery as he used to, but he likes to remain active.
“I like to serve a few stops and whatnot, and I still do. I don’t serve a route or anything like that, but I do do some stops. I’ll go to town, and I’ll serve 7-11, I’ll serve Inferrera’s, bringing little odds and ends. Our drivers do serve, but I’ll go back just to talk. I enjoy it; I definitely enjoy it, and I feel I want to keep busy,” he said.
Mary Ann Lucca noted that the lion’s share now falls to the next generation.
“My son, Michael, is taking over a lot of the pressure off of us, and he’s here every day with us. Eventually, he might maybe take over everything. Michael plays a big part in this company,” she said.
Anthony Lucca concurred.
“Michael doesn’t only play a big part, he actually does everything ... Michael is actually doing all of the hard work,” he said.
Michael Lucca said that, like his father, he originally had a different path in mind, but has come to realize that the bakery has afforded him “a very good lifestyle.”
“You get to enjoy your family. To this day, my daughter has only ridden a bus maybe 50 times in her life, and she’s graduating from Hammonton Middle School this year. Most of the time, she’s picked up and dropped off. How much is that worth? I could have a corporate salary for five times what I make, but my mother wouldn’t have been there making lunch for my daughter. I wouldn’t be dropping off my daughter for school. Those are nuances I would like to preserve,” he said.
Mary Ann Lucca agreed with her son.
“We’re just a simple Italian family, and we’re together every day,” she said.
Michael Lucca noted that he plans to keep the option on the table for his daughter, should she decide one day to enter the family business. In any event, the bakery will continue.
“We have been here, baking bread for the people in Hammonton, for 61 years. We only take off Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s and Easter ... We plan to continue to be here for the people of Hammonton,” he said.
For more information, call (609) 561-5558.