Calandra’s Italian & French Bakery- SQF Compliance

Background: (Calandra’s Italian & French Bakery)

Calandra’s story begins in 1962 with the opening of Calandra’s Bakery in Newark, New Jersey.

Luciano Calandra, an Italian immigrant, had been in America for just five years when he went into business for himself and opened a small Italian and French bakery. Mr. Calandra and his wife Ortenza worked hard day and night, and their bakery quickly developed a reputation for producing delicious bread.

Over the next 20 years the business took off as Mr. and Mrs. Calandra’s two sons, Anthony and Luciano Jr., began working in the family business. Not only did Mr. Calandra teach his sons the inner workings of the bakery, but he also instilled in them his business principles of a strong work ethic, an emphasis on family, and a belief that the customer is always right. Now, over 50 years later, Mr. Calandra’s philosophy remains the guiding light for the family business.

Today, Calandra’s Bakery in Newark is a 50,000 square foot operation and the family now has two additional bakeries, one in Fairfield and one in Caldwell. The three bakeries deliver their products to more than 500 supermarkets, delis, restaurants, catering halls and sporting arenas in the tri-state area.

In addition to their bakeries, the Calandra family now owns and operates several hotels,

restaurants, and apartment buildings in northern New Jersey. The family also produces and sells their own line of olive oil, coffee, fresh pasta, homemade sauces, and wines from their vineyard in Italy.

Although the family’s business has grown substantially since 1962 and employees over 700 employees, two things remain unchanged: Calandra’s Bakery is still synonymous with delicious bread, and the family remains driven by hard work, traditional family values, and a focus on customer service.



With a company with as much growth as Calandra’s has, keeping up with date production records, training records, recipe books etc, was a great problem for Calandra’s. Also they had no SQF Certification to go after accounts like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. This was a big challenge for their business.



Calandra’s worked with NJMEP and hired a consultant to get them to get them an SQF certification. NJMEP supported Calandra’s with trading, paper work, finding the right consultant for the SQF training, and was instrumental in them navigating a grant for government reimbursement for most of the SQF certification costs.

Calandra’s can now supply large companies such as Whole Foods and their line level managers have learned many new organizational skills. Their paper trails are up to date and their managers went from a “how are we ever going to get this done” to a very positive “yes we can” attitude. They have a much more cohesive team.

The consulting took up to 8 hours to support preparation for the SQF audit.


Calandra’s Italian & French Bakery benefited greatly from NJMEP’s help in many ways:

  • New Sales: $100,000
  • New Investment in Workforce Skills or Practices: $3,000


“NJMEP should be supported because they truly take care of the manufacturers. They look out for them and find ways for them to succeed.” – Kristin Calandra, Vice President of Calandra’s Bakery

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