Rotella’s is still a generational family owned and operated business!
The Rotella tradition begins in 1850 in Calabria, Italy, where Domenico Rotella mills his own wheat into flour. Baking in a small wood-fired oven, he sells hearty loaves to fellow villagers. Renowned as a master baker, Domenico passes the craft on to his son, Alessandro.
Alessandro immigrates to America with his wife Maria. They settle in Omaha, Nebraska.
Alessandro finds employment in the street cars and railroads. In 1921, a strike leaves him out of work, inspiring him to return to the family trade. Negotiating with a local businessman, he buys a small bakery for $25 a month.
Led by Alessandro and his wife, Maria, a born businesswoman who was educated in Italy, Rotella’s Bakery begins a new life in a new world. A horse-drawn wagon, which delivers fresh bread to customers, becomes a local symbol of wholesome goodness.
In the midst of the Great Depression, Alessandro and Maria Rotella do all they can to help both their business and their community.
Maria and Alessandro, new citizens of the United States, love America and the opportunity it affords. Alessandro is known to say: “Italy is like my mother because I was raised there, but America is my father because it supports me.”
Drafted to the army a day after high school graduation, Louis Rotella Sr. serves in Stuttgart, Germany, during World War II.
Louis Rotella Sr. returns from his service in Germany and assures his father that he is ready to take over the bakery with this his older brother, Ameado, promising to focus on maintaining the high quality products that Rotella’s has become known for.
Alessandro with one-year-old grandson, Louis Rotella Jr., a new addition to the Rotella family.
Always seeking to bring customers new experiences, Louis Sr., shown with his wife Helen, stays on top of trends in the baking industry.
Rotella’s Bakery introduces sliced bread and plastic packaging, new innovations for an Italian bakery at the time. This allows the bread to stay fresh longer.
People tell Louis Rotella Sr. his business will never grow to meet the scale of his ambitions. Recognizing doubt as the seed of all disappointment, he chooses to have faith instead, working day and night to turn his dreams into reality. The result: a brand new, large-scale facility.
Louis Rotella Jr. proves himself capable of running all facets of the plant, from mixing dough to leading and inspiring others, at a young age.
Some fathers and sons bond over sports. This pair, Louis Sr. and Jr., share a passion for business, not to mention a tireless work ethic and love of good bread.
Shown here: Louis Rotella Sr., Louis Rotella Jr., Dean Jacobsen and Jimmy Rotella. This year, with his father’s support, Louis Jr. launches his national campaign to sell fresh, frozen bread. The innovation brings Rotella’s products to an expanded customer base.
Helen Rotella gives her husband this photograph, writing on the back: “December 4, 1988. To my husband, Louis Rotella Sr. Rotella’s Italian Bakery under construction. 6949 South 108th Street. I love this picture. A lot of hard work and planning (a dream come true). Buona fortuna! Love eternally, your wife, Helen.”
The bakery blends cutting-edge technology with old-world techniques.
Louis and Helen Rotella Sr. on their 45th wedding anniversary.
Shown here: Louis Rotella Sr., Louis Rotella Jr., Dean Jacobsen and James Rotella. To meet customer interest in specialty products, the bakery increases its product line with an array of new offerings. This comes at a time when the bakery’s presence in the United States is growing.
Rotella’s Bakery further expands its national co-creation program, partnering with executive chefs to develop exclusive baked breads and rolls.
Although the Rotella’s Bakery logo has been refreshed several times, it will always stand for quality and service.
Under the leadership of Louis Rotella Jr., current CEO and President, Rotella’s Bakery earns numerous industry awards and distinctions.
Rotella’s Bakery launches high-speed automated processes and builds the bakery’s North Plant.
Consistent winner since 1997 of the Omaha Word Herald Favorite Brand Logo and Omaha Magazine “Best of Omaha” awards.
Rotella’s Bakery achieves the highest level of food safety, having earned the Global Food Safety Initiative’s certification through SQF Level 3.
Rotella’s product packaging takes on a new look, but what’s inside remains the same: high-quality, wholesome goods baked with pride.
Louis Rotella Jr, and his two sons, Louis III and John Rotella , look at the expansion plans for the South end of the main plant. Five generations of baking experience and a strong family commitment to product excellence has guided the family company through decades of expansion with a strong passion for high quality products and innovation.
Our sense of purpose as a business stems from our sense of purpose as a family. Carrying the Rotella tradition forward, several family members serve as executives, including Louis Jr.’s brother-in-law, Dean Jacobsen, and cousin, James Rotella. Each has two children in the business: Louis Rotella III, John Rotella, Dean Jacobsen Jr., Helena (Jacobsen) Anderson and Rocky and Gina Rotella. Built on five generations of tradition, the next five generations promise to bring as much innovation, excellence and joyful commitment to serving our customers.