Entering Saverio’s Bakery, you can usually see Tony Scaduto at work behind a rack of freshly baked baguettes and loaves of french batard and levain. At times, he’s the only person working in the bakery, but wherever he is in the kitchen, he greets customers and walks over to help them choose their baked goods.
“It’s more of a neighborhood bakery,” Scaduto says. “The front of my shop doesn’t say anything about baking, and when you look at it, you wouldn’t think it was a bakery unless you get really close or start to come in. People who live in the neighborhood just started stopping by.”
In 2018, Scaduto opened Saverio’s Bakery, which is tucked inside the West Centennial Plaza in Springfield. At first, when customers who live near the strip mall started buying from the bakery, Scaduto asked them to spread the word of his shop.
Part of the allure around Saverio’s Bakery is that it is not a traditional retail bakery. In fact, Scaduto estimates that around 97 percent of Scaduto’s business is wholesale, selling to local meat markets and restaurants.
That doesn’t stop people from spreading the word about his bread, though. Scaduto considers word of mouth as “golden,” and he hasn’t spent any money on advertising. Today it’s a popular spot and commonly praised on Facebook’s Eugene Foodies page.
And word travels far. A customer walks in with his family, excited to try Saverio’s. The customer exclaims that he and his family had traveled from California to try the bakery and had plans to return to Springfield to try more loaves of bread.
“That’s why I do it,” Scaduto tells Eugene Weekly, before returning to prepare his next round of loaves. That afternoon he had to prepare around 50 loaves to be baked the following day.
Saverio’s Bakery typically sells the same staple loaves throughout the week, but some of Scaduto’s favorite items he makes are his specialties.
Some of his ideas, like the pepperoni provolone loaf, come from his upbringing in Ohio, taking inspiration from the sausage rolls he couldn’t find in Oregon. Others take inspiration from the multitude of bakeries he’s worked at throughout his life, each time putting his own spin on it.
On Saturdays, Scaduto sells his pastries — from scones to biscuits to croissants — with the occasional special for holidays. One of his specials, the onion delight, is famous among his customer base and frequently sells out.
Between everything he makes, Scaduto goes through 16 bags of flour, just under 800 pounds, each week, which he sources from Camas Country Mill in Eugene.
While Scaduto works in his bakery, the namesake of the bakery — his grandfather — sits above the shelf where completed orders wait.
Scaduto started baking at his father’s doughnut shop when he was 19, “bouncing around” between bakeries before he moved to Colorado. In the mountain town of Telluride, he showed up at a café owned by a French-trained chef who was looking for a bread baker. He recalls telling the chef, “I understand dough.”
“She just gives me this look and she hires me,” Scaduto says. “It was a little struggle at first, but she pretty much taught me everything I know about bread.”
From there, he attended an advanced bread class at the San Francisco Baking Institute and worked in bakeries across Colorado and Ohio. But his journey of improving his understanding of dough never ends.
“Every bakery I go to, I usually pick up a little something that I can use for myself,” Scaduto says.
The amount of dedication and love Scaduto has for baking pays off when he sees customers with something from his bakery.
“I get people who take a bite while they’re in here,” Scaduto says. “The look on their face, it’s priceless.”
Saverio’s Bakery is located at 625 W. Centennial Boulevard in Springfield, and is open from 10 am to 3 pm Tuesday through Saturday.