1885 - Matteo D'Agostino is born in Scortino, Italy. Orphaned at a young age, he is brought up by a family who owns a chain of Italian pastry shops in Italy. Matteo travels to France, Italy, and Switzerland learning to perfect the craft of a master pastry chef and executive chef. After serving in World War One he sought his fortune in Buenos Aires, Argentina becoming a partner in a new hotel venture which still stands today across from the Buenos Aries opera house. Over the next sixteen years he rose to the top of his profession and then decided to seek his fortune in America.
1920 - Matteo settles in New York City working for several large New York hotels as an executive chef, for Willow Cafeterias as their plant foreman and then for Dubins Bakeries in Brooklyn, New York.
1939 - He buys a small bakery in Troy, New York named La Bonbonniere Bake Shop (pronounced lah bahn bahn ear’ (more widely used) OR lah bohn bohn yaire’ (a more pronounced French accent on the “yaire”). Matteo introduces fancy French pastries to his customers. He starts with a staff of three bakers and after one year he has fifteen bakers working full time, including his two sons.
1945 - The bakery in Troy closes after Matteo's death and his family moves to Bronx, New York. A new bakery, Paul's Bake Shop on White Plains Road in the Bronx is opened by his son. The bakery closes after six years when a decision is made to move to New Jersey.
1952 - A new store opens in what is now Edison, New Jersey. Business doubles in the first few years. A policy of "freshness always" is the mainstay of La Bonbonniere. To this day "freshness" remains our policy. La Bonbonniere's reputation flourishes and people from other towns around Edison began patronizing this "fresh" bakery.
1966 - Paul and his wife, Mary, take over the entire operation of La Bonbonniere. All three sons are taught the intricacies of baking by the master.
1977 - A second La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe opens in South Plainfield, NJ. Paul's son, Matthew is named General Manager.
1982 - A third store opens on Route 1 in Fords (Menlo Park Terrace), NJ. An order department is opened to handle call-in orders.
1988 - A fourth location opens on Route 130 in North Brunswick, NJ.
1992 - La Bonbonniere opens its fifth location in Scotch Plains, NJ at the former site of "Glasstetter's Bakery". Matthew is named Chief Operating Officer and General Management is taken over by Mike Amato who's family had a bakery on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.
1994 - La Bonbonniere's Corporate Cake Club program is started. Every company gets a 6th cake free based on the average price of the previous five.
1995 - La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes is chosen by New Jersey Monthly Magazine as the 1995 Family Business of the Year. We thank NJ Monthly as well as the sponsors of the award: Bell Atlantic, NJ 101.5 FM Radio, The Mid-Atlantic Companies, Ltd., Corestates Bank, Coopers and Lybrand, Lowenstein Sandler, and the George Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
1996 - In March, La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes opens its seventh location in Westfield, NJ.
1997 - Corporate catering begins and meets with instant success
1998 - We purchase the Rolls Royce of ovens - a French Bongard Oven to produce superior quality hearth breads.
After having a growth period of many years we find too many stores make it difficult to control our quality. We have never produced goods for wholesale customers because large production runs in a retail bakery may sacrifice quality. In December our locations in Scotch Plains and Westfield are sold to a former assistant manager of La Bonbonniere and he renames the shops My Town Bakery.
1999 - La Bonbonniere now concentrates on only four locations and quality is much easier to control to better serve the public. Mike Amato, GM leaves to take a position as head pastry chef of NY, NY in Las Vegas, NV.
La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppes is named one of the Best in Central Jersey by The Home News Tribune Readers Choice Awards in October.
2000 - Our South Plainfield and North Brunswick locations are totally remodeled to bring all four locations into the next millennium as the finest bakery environment to shop in no matter which of our four locations our customers visit.
2001 - Sadly, in December of 2001 Paul F. D'Agostino passes away. Matthew becomes president and sets forth to carry on the tradition taught to him by Paul of quality and craftsmanship.
2002 - A new location is opened at 356 Amboy Avenue by Main Street in the heart of the town of Woodbridge. Formerly known for 47 years as the "Cookie Jar", the building is slated to be totally refurbished outside and in for early 2003. Not wanting to destroy the tradition in the town, La Bonbonniere decides to use the former name and renames the bakery La Bonbonniere's Cookie Jar. North Brunswick location is closed on December 31, 2002 and replaced by this store.
2003 - La Bonbonniere's Cookie Jar bakery is totally renovated. Woodbridge Chamber of Commerce award La Bonbonniere's Cookie Jar a beautification award at a holiday luncheon at the Woodbridge Sheraton.
2004 - Woodbridge Township approves The Cookie Jar Event Room in March. It becomes the official meeting place of the Woodbridge Small Business Forum for the Chamber of Commerce in October.
Phillip D'Agostino, first cousin of Matthew, having years of experience in his father's bakery and just returning as a pastry chef at the Paris and Mandalay Bay hotels in Las Vegas joins the family and becomes General Manager.
2006 - Chef Paul D'Agostino Phillip's brother comes aboard after serving as a chef at the Morristown Westin Hotel. A whole new menu of foods are available for take out in our stores - soups, wraps, and ready to heat meals from chicken francese to Italian lasagna. At customer's requests we can our own Marinara, Arrabiatta and Tomato Basil Sauces.