Ettore Ravazzolo was born near Zurich, Switzerland in a small town called Wollerau. Due to family difficulties when he was young, Ettore and his siblings were placed in an orphanage for many years. This photo was taken during that time, when Ettore was about two-years-old – and it’s one of only two photos he has from his childhood. However, he has many good memories of his Italian grandfather “Nono” who once owned a restaurant himself. Nono is the original inspiration for Ettore working to become a chef.
Ettore is pictured here at approximately 20 years old. By the time this photo was taken, Ettore was already a professional Swiss Pastry Chef, completing his pastry apprenticeship in Zurich, Switzerland which he started when he was just sixteen years old. In addition to completing the rigorous apprenticeship, Ettore had finished his Swiss military training, where he worked as a chef cooking for soldiers in the Alps at 14,000 feet.
Within a few years, Ettore would immigrate to America in 1977.
Ettore immigrates to America, unable to speak English and with only $350 in his pocket – half of which he ended up loaning to a friend. Right away, Ettore is deeply inspired by America. Over the next several years he pushed hard to prove himself in his newly adopted homeland, working as a Pastry Chef in some of the finest hotels and restaurants across the United States. Ettore’s talent, work ethic and creativity as a Pastry Chef was quickly recognized and the accolades and awards started pouring in – which further motivated him to branch out on his own.
Settled in Sacramento, Ettore was working for Viva Croissant, a small croissant shop at 2376 Fair Oaks Blvd. After several years of proving his worth, Ettore struck a deal with the owner to purchase the shop by having the owner finance the buy-out. On March 1st 1985, Ettore became an official small business owner. Armed with fierce determination and a desire to bring wonderful European treats and pastries to Sacramento, Ettore changes the name from Viva Croissant to Ettore’s European Bakery. Working with only two employees, four cafe tables, ten chairs and one antique bench, Ettore opens the doors.
Working 100-hour weeks, Ettore tirelessly begins to build the business, learn his customer’s tastes and evolve his recipes. Word starts to spread about the wonderful little European bakery “with the funny name,” and his following grows.
In the ’90s, Ettore’s had two expansions at our Sacramento location, followed by an addition of the restaurant, and then an all-seasons patio.
Ettore’s is open seven days a week where we are literally rolling out products 24 hours a day. We proudly offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, a full line of European breakfast pastries, cookies, cakes, specialty desserts and custom wedding cakes.
Ettore’s truly values the quality of our goodies, using only 100% butter (never shortening), the freshest produce and simply the best ingredients we can source, locally and from around the world.
Today, Ettore’s Bakery & Café is an established tradition in Northern California, and nothing makes us happier than when a customer established their own personal tradition with our cakes and treats. For many, Ettore’s is like a second home – having come to our bakery and cafe for over 33 years. We will always remain a place where everyone is welcome – in our “home.”
Ettore and our dedicated and talented team of Associates truly look forward to continuing to serve you for many years to come.