Turano Baking’s signature product is a 2-lb round specialty bread aptly named Pane Turano, also known as “the homemade round.” It’s still made with the same formula as when the family home-delivered its bread during its early days in the 1960s. Throughout its history, the key to the product’s popularity came not only from its unique quality but also from educating consumers, according to Giancarlo Turano, a principal with his brothers Ron and Tony for the Berwyn, IL, company.

“Products that we produce — the round, for instance — came in sliced and whole,” he said. “We educated people in store by demos about what you can use this for. When we were kids, we were embarrassed about bringing those big sandwiches to school. Kids would laugh at you. ‘What is it with that big bread?’ Today, the kids want to trade sandwiches when they see our bread. We have a more educated clientele.”

Still, because “the round” only has a certain number of slices suitable for sandwiches before the slices start to taper off, Turano introduced an elongated Panini bread with the same formulation and process as its Pane Turano, but with more uniform slices.

“We learned from being aggressive with clientele,” Giancarlo said. “The word ‘no’ is not in our vocabularies. If a single restaurant asked for a product we weren’t making, then we do everything possible to make it for them. At the same time, we taught our food service customers to use the products we already made. With restaurant chains, production runs became larger, and we began gaining a reputation as the guys to work with.”

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