Coming from Terrasini in Sicily to Detroit, Jim Bommarito chose to go into the bakery business instead of entering the automobile industry as so many others did in the early 20th century. In 1925, Jim and his wife Rose, Vito and Jack, started selling lemon ice, gelate, cookies, and wedding cakes at Joseph Campau and Mullet in the heart of the Italian neighborhood in Detroit. In short time, the bakery expanded and Jim and Rose opened their own store in 1934 at Cadillac Boulevard and Forest. It was named the Jim Bommarito Dolceria Palermo and remained there until 1961, when the family business was moved to Greater Mack in St. Clair Shores where it continues to serve the community today.
The continued success Bommarito's is a tribute to both the Bommarito and Valenti families. There are many examples of recognition in the community including a feature on Rick Rowe's Best Bets on WDIV Channel 4 and articles in the local and Detroit newspapers. For three generations Bommarito's has provided the community with Italian bread, pastries, cannolis, submarine sandwiches, pizza, wine, and grocery products and have demonstrated the qualities of honest hard work, pride in quality and service, and strength of family ties. Jim, Rose, Vito, Jack, Sam, and Grace are missed dearly, but their legacy lives on.
In the early 1940s, Sam Valenti married Grace Bommarito (daughter of Jim and Rose) and entered into his in-laws' business. Sam and Grace ran the bakery for many years until his daughters, Roseanne Valenti, Christine Corrado, Grace Adams, Frances Cottone, and son-in-law Eric Adams eventually took over managing the store. He continued to spend time at the business on a daily basis until his health deteriorated in 2005.