Cosimo grew up in a small town in Southern Italy, where his parents owned and operated the community’s general store. His mother baked bread every day, and he and his six siblings helped her make bread, collect olives from their grove, bottle olive oil, make fresh cheese and tend the farm animals. He learned from a very young age the art of baking bread and the importance of its freshness every single morning.
He lived through difficult times in Italy and had to work hard to help his family. His father, like many Italian patriarchs, and his eldest brother, came to Canada to work on the railroads, sending their paycheques back to Italy to support the family. Cosimo, though the youngest of his siblings, was the only male left with the family in Italy, and was forced to take on responsibility at a very young age.
The discipline he learned so long ago is evident in Cosimo’s work habits and his determination, and is one of the reasons La Rose became successful. The bakery business is not for the faint of heart. It demands long hours of labour, seven days a week, from the darkest hours of the morning well into the afternoon, and sometimes until the sun sets again. Cosimo was prepared for it – he had been living a hard-working life since childhood. And with Maggie by his side, supporting his endeavours and managing La Rose’s storefront, their partnership of dedication to the business saw La Rose grow into what it is today.