PROVINCETOWN — The Provincetown Portuguese Bakery has changed hands, but the same name and traditional Old World fare will remain as baked into Commercial Street as it has been for more than 100 years.
New owners Chuck Stanko and George Carroll, who are currently living above the bakery, plan to open as soon as April, depending on how long it takes to complete some plumbing upgrades to bring the approximately 120-year-old business up to code.
Stanko was the production manager of the Cape Cod Chronicle in Chatham for 20 years. He said he and Carroll will stay loyal to the Portuguese recipes that produced the offerings at 299 Commercial St. for decades.
“We are very excited to keep the tradition going,” said Stanko.
The Portuguese Bakery is now one of the few overtly Portuguese businesses left in a town that was dominated by Portuguese immigrants for generations. One reason for its longevity is that the owners of the building, the Janoplis family, are descendants of the original owner “and they have retained everything,” Stanko said.
The Janoplis clan handed down old recipes to a succession of bakery businesspeople who rented the building from them. And they require that the new owners keep the simple, classic name, Stanko said. The Janoplises also own two other downtown mainstays, the Mayflower Restaurant and John’s Foot Long.
Mark, Mike, and Darin Janoplis all failed to return calls or refused to comment for this article.
The bakery was founded by Antonio Brito in 1932, according to Building Provincetown, though 299 Commercial has been a bakery since about 1900, according to Elspeth Hay, writing in Edible Cape Cod.
Assessing records state 299 Commercial St. was passed from Antonio Brito in 1973 to a trust whose current trustee is Michael Janoplis. Brito’s daughter Maria married Sam Janoplis and Michael is their son.
The business itself has changed hands only a few times: Brito retired in 1971 and it was then run by Sam and Maria Janoplis, followed by Ernie Carreiro. In 1976, it was taken over by Antonio “Tony” Ferreira and his wife, Guilhermina “Mina” Nazare Texeira Ferreira, according to Building Provincetown. They were succeeded first by Jose and Arnaldina Ferreira, and then by their daughter Ofelia and her husband, Tibor Bago.
Ofelia and Tibor Bago retired last year and have moved out of town, Stanko said.
All Stanko and his husband want to do that is new is re-introduce the wholesale breads that were distributed to restaurants and retail shops until a few years ago.
“We’re already getting calls from restaurants,” Carroll said.
They also wish to add some prepackaged imported specialties from Portugal.
Carroll and Stanko owned and operated Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop in Milford, Del. for 10 years until 2016. They lived in Florida for a few years, and then “we just saw this great opportunity,” Stanko said.
“It’s an icon,” he went on. “We feel like we are just torchbearers for this awesome place. It’s such a thread to Provincetown and we’d hate to take that away.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the family that owns the Commercial Street building that houses the Portuguese Bakery. It is Janoplis, not Janopolis.