Tampa's popular Alessi Bakery files for bankruptcy, remains open

The four-generation business isn't cutting back or laying off any employees, its sales manager says.
Published September 14 2012
Updated September 15 2012

TAMPA — Alessi Bakery, a well-known establishment run by four generations of one family, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The restaurant and bakery on W Cypress Street remains open.

"Everything is business as usual," sales manager Jason Alessi said.

Alessi, incorporated as Phil's Cake Box Bakeries, filed for bankruptcy protection due to an inability to pay its debt amid declining sales and an overleveraged manufacturing facility, according to documents filed Sept. 5 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Middle District of Florida in Tampa.

The business reported $11.9 million in gross revenues for 2011. Documents show it has assets of $14.5 million, compared with liabilities totaling $14.7 million.

Jason Alessi said the filing is intended to reorganize the company's debt, due to business being off.

He said the company is not cutting back and isn't laying off any of its 150 employees.

"It was just a matter of the tough economic times," he said.

Alessi has been operating in Tampa almost continuously since 1912, when Nicolo Alessi, originally from Italy, opened a bakery on Cherry Street and delivered Italian and Cuban bread by horse and wagon.

Phil Alessi Sr., Nicolo's grandson, has passed the top job on to his son, but has remained on board as the company expanded.

One of the biggest expansion moves was the 2008 opening of a $20 million, 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant off Waters Avenue in Town ’N Country.

The company ships its products to retailers such as Publix and Food Lion and food service companies such as Sysco.

Jason Alessi said he does not expect production to scale back.

The business will celebrate its 100-year anniversary next month.