Settepani: The family conquering Brooklyn with Italian sweets: "Panettone all year round here"

Apr 17, 2024 1208

BY: Alessandra Meldolesi

Bilena Settepani wasn't even born yet when her parents, Nino and Leah, the former Sicilian and the latter Ethiopian-Eritrean, laid the foundation stone for what is now an Italian-American institution: Settepani Bakery in Brooklyn, a place dedicated to promoting the national baking art. "Nomen omen," one might say.

And indeed, they never stopped: while commuting to work along a street in Harlem, when the neighborhood was still synonymous with decay, they fell in love with it to the extent that they decided to venture into it. The buildings were beautiful and spacious, the rents cheap. Yet Leah wondered, where will those who live here go for a coffee? In fact, it was a desert, and not by chance.

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