Our History

A Sonoma County Tradition

Franco American is the oldest established bakery in the North Bay. We bake artisan bread every day, and we have been doing so for over a century. It has been in the Bastoni family for three generations, since 1900. Our famous Sourdough Bread is still made from the same starter recipe that we used when we began. Franco American Bakery also operates under the name Mezzaluna Bakery. Mezzaluna has over 10 varieties by itself, including Focaccia, Ciabatta and Pane Lievitato.

artisan san francisco sourdough bread

Every week, 50,000 pounds of flour is delivered to our facility. That's a lot of bread! We bake 9 different types of bread in 150 different styles, including sourdough, white, wheat, rye, dark rye, sweet, sour, and more. Every day we bake and deliver our bread to markets, restaurants, and delis all across the North Bay Area.

Franco American founders

Franco American Bakery has been a family business ever since it began. It was started by brothers Mario and Frank Bastoni back in 1900. In the early days of the company, Mario and Frank would deliver loaves of bread to vineyard and hop growing farm employees. They built their company on supplying the residents of Sonoma County with bread door to door.

Robert Bastoni began working at the Bakery with his dad Mario and Uncle Frank at the age of 16. They were delivering bread all over the county, every day. The main facility is in the very same location that it began in back in 1900 at 202 W. 7th Street in Santa Rosa. The original facility was two stories, but the upper story burnt down in a fire, and they never rebuilt it but instead expanded the lower level to nearly 10,000 sq. feet.

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Robert went to college to study business and accounting at Empire Business College to help out the family business. He became full time in 1963. He drove a delivery trick and made sales for over 12 years. Later he became more involved with running the entire operation, while also raising two daughters. His oldest daughter Kristin, started helping out at 13! Now Kristin is the general manager, overseeing the staff, accounting, and sales force, while Robert oversees and works the bread-making operation and filling thousands of orders.

Franco American Bakery is a piece of local Sonoma County history. The public can come right to our location to buy all kinds of fresh breads. We make a huge number of breads, rolls, baguettes, and even custom sizes. At present, Franco American has 39 employees and runs their facility 24 hours a day.

Paul A. Doyle wrote a story about the history of Franco American Bakery that ran in the Upbeat Times April 2010 issue.