Natale Bozzo, founder of SanRemo Bakery, has died at the age of 75 after contracting COVID-19, his family said Thursday.
“He was bigger than life and we will miss him very much and we will work hard to keep his memory alive and honor him,” reads a statement posted on Facebook by his family Thursday night.
Within just an hour of posting, the statement already garnered about 800 condolence comments.
“This will undoubtedly be an inexplicable time of grief for our family.”
Bozzo came to Canada at the age of 15 from Italy and started working in a bakery in Little Italy.
He opened SanRemo Bakery, located in Etobicoke, in 1969 with his brothers, becoming not only an “incredible baker” but “a friend to many” in the community, the statement said.
Bozzo became the sole owner of the bakery in the 1990s and worked there with his three sons, according to his family.
He said the secret of baking was to put a pinch of love into everything, and we would miss that pinch in ways we could not describe.– The Bozzo family
He eventually retired “but he would still come to help around the oven as it was his passion,” the post said.
“He was a wonderful baker and the hardest working man we know. He was resilient and agile. He was kind and a friend to everyone. He wanted to go to Florida, he wanted to fish and garden, he loved food and he wanted his family. “
Bozzo had COVID-19 for 6 weeks, the family says
Bozzo’s family said he lost his “devastating battle with COVID-19” after six weeks in hospital.
“This will undoubtedly be an inexplicable time of grief for our family,” the family wrote, adding that they learned of his failed health through “very difficult” phone calls from the hospital.
“Thankfully we were able to say goodbye.”
The post goes on to say that the family thanks everyone for their support at this time.
“He said the secret of baking was to put a pinch of love in everything, and we will miss that pinch in ways we can not describe,” the post reads.
Councilman Mark Grimes, who represents Ward 3, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, went on Twitter Thursday evening, recalling Bozzo as “a great man with an incredible story, who together with his wife Nicoletta formed a family of amazing “.
“You may know Natale from San Remo Bakery, but there was so much more behind the man who unearthed one of our community’s greatest treasures,” the tweet reads.
Sending my deepest condolences to the Bozzo family for the shocking passing of Natale
You may know Natale from San Remo Bakery, but there was so much behind the man who unearthed the greatest treasures of one of our communities. (1/2)
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford also shared a message of condolence on Twitter, saying Bozzo was a “true local champion who pursued his passions”.
“My condolences go to Rob, Nick, Ed and the entire Natale Bozzo family,” he wrote.
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