At Lucibello’s Italian Pastry Shop in downtown New Haven, preparing cakes for customers runs like clockwork. The order sheet is taken down from the wall, a cake is baked and iced, then placed into a box neatly tied shut with string before going into the refrigerator to wait for pickup. On this Saturday morning, one cake needs extra attention.
“It needs to say ‘Congratulations on passing your driver’s test,’” Isabella Scirocco, a Lucibello’s employee, tells Peter Faggio.
It’s Faggio’s job to fit all of those words in icing onto the little open space remaining on top of the cake. I wander anxiously over to the counter where the operation is set to take place, still mystified that anyone could fit that many words on top of such a small cake.
Faggio doesn’t hesitate. Leaning over, he neatly scripts the congratulatory note in pink icing. None of the other employees even notice.
I let out a deep sigh of relief.
“When you have been doing it as long as I have…” Faggio trails off with a laugh after seeing my reaction.
Peter is a second-generation owner of the Lucibello’s. The pastry shop originally opened in 1929, and Peter’s father, Frank Faggio, purchased it in 1959 after growing up working in the business.
These photographs show a typical Saturday at the historic pastry shop, which brings tourists, students, and New Haven locals together to enjoy authentic Italian pastries.