TAMPA/YBOR CITY, FL – The Ferlita Bakery (originally La Joven Francesca) was once a vibrant part of the community in Ybor City.
Opened in 1896, Francisco Ferlita (the grandfather) would home deliver warm bread by horse and buggy for 3 to 5 cents per loaf. The bakery continued delivering bread to its customers until they closed in 1973.
Rose V. Ferlita grew up working with her family at the Ferlita Bakery and talked about the home delivery service in an 2011 interview with Emanuel Leto from Cigar Magazine:
If you couldn’t get there (the bakery), my Dad, Joseph (“Pino”), would make sure that he would deliver it to your home. I never could understand the commitment to deliver the loaf or half loaves to people’s home. The cost certainly outweighed the profit for doing that. But, my Dad tried many, many times to explain how commitment outweighed profit. I never [understood] until I embraced those same values many years later in my drug store as a pharmacist.
A marker at the site tells of my Grandfather (Francisco Ferlita) delivering bread, via horse and buggy. It characterizes the Ferlita Family’s place in Ybor history [and as pioneers of Ybor City].
In 1973 the bakery closed and was transformed into a museum with the ovens still intact. The building facade still bears the name of Rose’s grandfather (F. Ferlita) with the address 1818 9th Avenue.
The year 1923 on the outside of the building represent the year it was renovated with brick after the old wooden structure was destroyed by fire.
Ybor City Museum State Park | 1818 9th Avenue | Ybor City, FL | 813-247-6323 | www.ybormuseum.org