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Monday, February 8, 2016

That's the way cookies crumble in Kingsbridge


Kate Pastor

Fudge-filled cookies and crunchy breadsticks. Stella D’oro, Italian for star of gold, instantly conjures images of baked goods in the minds of people throughout the country. For the Kingsbridge factory’s nearby neighbors, its distinctive scripted logo can also trigger memories of batting for the Stella D’oro Little League team, eating in the Stella D’oro restaurant or coming home from school and being carried away by the aroma of the cookies being made.

The company that began in 1930 is likely to end its nearly 80 year run in Kingsbridge when the factory is shut down in October. To its neighbors and the family that can claim the famous fragrance as its legacy, the decades have been about more than just cookies.

Joseph Kresevich, an Italian immigrant, and his wife, Angela Kresevich, opened up their first factory on Bailey Avenue around 1930 (there’s actually no family consensus on the company’s official beginning, though its trucks have that year emblazoned across them).

The Kresevichs moved the plant to its current location on West 237th Street and Broadway around 1950 and also opened up a red-checkered-tablecloth restaurant on the site within the decade.

After Mr. Kresevich died in 1965, he passed the business down to his wife Angela’s son from an earlier marriage, Felice Zambetti. A Riverdale resident with a home on West 246th Street, Mr. Zambetti shared control with his mother. As she aged, he increasingly took over dayto- day operations, raising his four children amid butter and dough.

“It was like Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory to me,” said Jonathan Zambetti, one of Felice’s sons, who now lives in Manhattan.

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