Notable Feedback - Summer 2014
In our spring issue feature on ghost signs (On the Road: “Faded Food Signs from Earlier Times”) we asked our readers for feedback on our photographs, as well as any signs they may come across locally.
The family of Joseph Campione checked in with us after a cousin forwarded them our issue. From a humble storefront on the East Side, Campione has become a nationally-recognized name in European-style Italian breads (and some of the best garlic bread in the freezer section).
Anne Campione, Joseph’s daughter, wrote: “Hello, Edible Milwaukee team! The sign my father had painted on the side of his bakery many years ago stirred up so many fond memories, including visions of the actual painter. In the world of digital design, it is nice to remember those who actually painted signs, like Eddie from Eddie’s Sign Shop. If you drive by our Southbranch corporate entrance, you will see an original sign he painted that still stands in my father’s memory.”
We did. We drove to Joseph Campione Inc.’s headquarters in Oak Creek to hand-deliver some magazines and to see the original sign. What we didn’t expect was to meet Angelina Campione, the family matriarch and president, along with Anne and her brother, Sal, and to spend over an hour shedding some tears and recounting memories of Joseph, whose legacy the family still honors – and looks to for guidance – today.
Joseph Campione immigrated to the United States from Italy, and in 1960 founded his bakery on Brady Street. About a decade later, the business expanded and moved to the Forest Home location, where the Campione Bakery ghost sign still shines. To say that the operation continues today would be an understatement; in 2013, the family remodeled and began work out of an old bakery in Oak Creek. Out of their 275,000-square-foot facility they now produce frozen garlic breads, cheese breads, Texas toast, breadsticks, and speciality breads for a national fanbase.
It was a happy coincidence that we put the ghost sign from a sausage company together on the same page with Campione Bakery. Anne let us know that the family home in Brookfield is located next door to the owners of Milwaukee Sausage Co. We aren’t sure whose hand guided that move, but the results made us smile (and feel smiled down upon) all the same.