Ida Jane and Mark Alteri
Alteri Bakery, Inc. is approaching its 31st year in the business of baking Italian bread in the area of Watertown known as “The Sand Flats.” Querino and Ida Jane Alteri, who are third generation bakery owners, purchased the business with a 1971 SBA loan from Vincenzo Romeo, whose bakery had been in operation for 50 years. Today Alteri Bakery is the only family-run Italian bread bakery in the area. When Querino retired in 1990, his son Mark took his place in the business. Over the years the bakery has gone through a long period of growth and diversification, with an expanding product line that includes pizza shells, variety breads, bagels, pies and cakes - including wedding cakes - cheesecakes, and pastries. The business, primarily wholesale, serves Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis, and Oswego Counties.
In 1997, the Alteris were referred to the SBDC by the Watertown Local Development Corporation and Jefferson County Job Development Corporation. Business Adviser Ann Durant worked with the Alteris to develop a business plan and funding package to relocate the bakery to a new industrial park in Watertown. In October 1999, after two years of planning and construction, the bakery began operations in its new facility and opened an area for retail customers to purchase baked goods.
The company has grown significantly since 1990, increasing the number of delivery routes from one to six, and now serving more than 200 restaurants, sub shops, and major grocery stores including P & C, Hannaford, Great American, and Big M Markets. Sales continue to grow and the number of employees has increased from 15 in early 1997 to 36 in 2003.
In 2001, the Watertown SBDC presented the Alteris with its annual APEX award for excellence. In 2003, the Syracuse SBA District Office named Alteri Bakery a “Business of Excellence.”