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Meet the 100-year-old company behind the signature smell of baked bread in Malden

Malden's Piantedosi Bread Company has provided signature products, and smell, for decades
Malden's Piantedosi Bread Company has provided signature products, and smell, for decades 02:23

MALDEN – If you've been to Malden you might smell a strong scent of freshly baked bread, and it's not your imagination. You can thank Piantedosi Bread Company for that.

"Who doesn't like the smell of fresh baked bread? It's comfort food. It warms the heart and the soul," Joseph Piantedosi Jr., executive vice president of Piantedosi said.

The company is an 108-year old family-owned and operated business. They've been making Malden smell like bread since they moved their factory there in 1975.

"Between our company and New England coffee it's been a standing joke for years that depending on the way the wind blows you smell bread or coffee," Piantedosi said.

Joe is the third generation to run the business. His grandfather came to Massachusetts from Italy in 1916 and started a bread route.

He would buy and deliver fresh bread from the North End to people in Everett in a horse and wagon. It was his grandmother's idea to eventually make the bread themselves.

His grandfather didn't know anything about baking bread but opened a garage bakery and made deliveries while his grandmother tended to the shop.

"He was nicknamed the midnight baker because he delivered up until midnight, house to house. It's amazing. I enjoy it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and realize what my grandfather with humble beginnings created," Piantedosi said.

Joe was very close with his grandfather growing up and loved the family bread business. His grandfather always wanted him to be a part of running the company one day. He's happy that the Malden community has embraced the company so much.

"It's nice to be a part of this community for sure," he said.

Now they're one of the largest bread baking companies in New England. Their products can be found in grocery stores and they can be shipped around the country.

Joe says his grandfather would be proud of what they've achieved.

"Giving people bread, it makes them feel so good. There's something about the scent of bread, tasting bread, and bread has been an important part of culture of this world," he said.

He's gotten used to the smell at this point. But Joe told WBZ-TV that when he's been away for a while on a trip and comes back, he can always tell when he's getting close to home.

"As soon as I pull into the city, I'm like 'I'm back home in Malden.' There's no question," he said.

Now the fourth generation is involved in the family business, and they've expanded to start selling their frozen products internationally.

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