Fisichelli’s (fiz-a-kelly’s) Pastry Shop Inc. was established by Italian immigrant Orazio Fisichelli in 1915 at it’s current location 55 Union Street in Lawrence. Orazio primarily baked bread,Orazio would bake the bread very early in the morning in the very same oven that is used today and then deliver it to his customers, at first by horse drawn carriage. In 1922 Orazio met and married Lena Gallo who immediately began helping out in the bakery. Lena and Orazio welcomed a son Frank on February 4,1927 and 10 years later another son Edward.
During the Great Depression of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s Lena and Orazio made a decision that would change their business. They reasoned that because their oven had to be fired daily anyway to bake bread and given the oven stayed hot most of the day they would allow other families to use the oven to bake. Orazio and Lena opened up their hearts and their bakery and invited many other Italian immigrants to come bake and share their recipes and from that act of charity and goodwill sprung the collection of recipes for handmade Italian cookies still made today with the same quality ingredients. These cookies were added to the menu and remain a part of Fisichelli’s menu 80 plus years later.
Orazio and Lena successfully ran the business and raised a family and in the late 1940’s when he returned from active duty in the Navy they turned the day to day operation of the bakery over to Frank. Frank expanded Fisichelli’s menu to include pies,cream pastries,cannoli’s,cakes and of course his signature wedding cakes.
During that time Frank met Muriel Beatrice Golden and they married in 1956. Frank and Muriel welcomed their only child Nina in 1965.
Frank’s passion in life was the bakery,.He lived for it ! He really loved those weekends he had as many as 18 to 20 wedding cakes to bake, decorate, deliver and set-up. He took great pride in every cake he did !
After successfully running the business for over 40 years Frank shocked everybody by closing the doors just after Christmas of 1992, surprising even Nina.
Without hesitation Nina left her profession as a school teacher and her pursuit of a Masters Degree in Speech Therapy and took over the business. With absolutely no formal training and against all odds Nina took over the day to day operation of the bakery immediately. The continuation of the business could not have occurred without two employees (family members really) James “Zinzy” Martone (a 66 year employee, whom Nina lost in February of 2012) and Shaun Donahoe, a baker that learned his craft under the tutelage of Frank and has been a member of the Fisichelli Family since 1984.
Nina has continued the Fisichelli Family legacy of quality handmade baked goods.
In Memory of Frank Fisichelli, February 4,1927-December 4,2012