be part of the family at BC
Joseph Piantedosi Jr. '83 joined the family business at 10. "Saturdays, I didn't ride my bike to the park with my friends; I went to the bakery with Grandpa," he remembers. "It was a big treat." Now he's executive vice president of marketing and business development at Piantedosi Baking Company, founded in 1916 by his grandfather, Salvatore, and now run by Joe and his cousins Tom '73 and Bob Piantedosi. Salvatore delivered bread around Everett, Mass., in his horse-drawn wagon; today, Piantedosi ships bread all across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean islands.
At BC's Carroll School of Management, Joe majored in sales and marketing and discovered his second passion. Professor Raymond Keyes helped him convince his father, then company president, that Joe had a vision for growing Piantedosi's customer base and ought to have the chance to implement it. His father agreed to give him a year.
"I was our first salesman. My father used to say, 'This is my son, he's only here for a year until he goes to law school.' As I brought him customers, he stopped saying that." Those customers now include major restaurant chains Uno's, Papa Gino's, the Hard Rock Café, the 99 Restaurants, and more.
Now, Joe Piantedosi has come full-circle, back to the bakery floor. He recently designed and launched a European-style retail store, Piantedosi Bread Shoppe, in his home town of Winchester, Mass. Featuring artisan and gourmet breads, and managed by his wife, Julie, often with the help of their son Jared, 12, the Bread Shoppe is Joe's newest passion—and, perhaps, a whole new business direction for his family's 95-year-old company.
Joe shared some thoughts with Boston College Magazine about business, BC, and life.
What is the most satisfying moment in your professional life?
Seeing Piantedosi products selling outside the U.S.
In your personal life?
Watching my son mature into a young man.
What is your fondest BC memory?
The whole event of a BC Saturday football game.
What is your next goal?
Continuing to grow our business and brand.
What is one thing everyone should do while at BC?
Savor every moment.
How have you changed since graduation?
Why did you decide to attend BC?
It’s where good Catholic Italian boys go!
What is the secret to success?
Find your passion—then give it your all.
Where is your favorite spot at the heights?
In the Quad, looking at the buildings and thinking of their history.
What would you do if you were BC president for a day?
Add more dorms so that all students could live on campus.
What was your first job?
I've always worked in the bakery. My senior year, my father told me not to work; he'd give me spending money so I could just enjoy my time at BC. I'd come home Sunday nights for a family dinner, say I was headed back to campus, and sneak into the bakery to work.
Where did you live freshman year?
At home—and soon realized what I was missing.
How do you relax?
Anywhere warm, near the ocean—ideally, vegging on a beach with a book. Doesn't happen often!
What was your favorite Boston College class?
What do you look forward to each day?
Living the day to the fullest.
What was your favorite Boston College activity?
Meals in the dining hall with friends.
What is something your friends don't know about you?
I’m more serious and more pensive than people think.
How much can you sing of the BC fight song?
Well, I can hum it!
Who would play you in the film version of your life?
Michael Douglas. He's got his own family-business thing going on.
What was the best meal at the dining hall?
Any item served on Piantedosi bread!