Renato G. Turano (Ron), who grew Turano Baking Co. into a household name, passed away on December 5, 2021, at the age of 79, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Turano immigrated to the U.S. in 1958, when he was 15, and his father, Mariano, started Turano Baking Co. in 1962. The bakery specialized in 4-lb. loaves of Italian bread, which they delivered to locals.
The company then expanded its distribution to grocery stores and restaurants. Later, it became a supplier to major foodservice companies, for both fresh and frozen baked goods. The company currently operates five baking plants in the U.S., and its products include specialty bread and rolls, distributed to grocery stores, and hamburger buns, baguettes, French rolls, and ciabatta, distributed to foodservice locations.
Turano was chairman of ABA from 2006-2008, and he advocated for the involvement of more smaller and mid-sized bakers in organization and industry affairs.
Robb MacKie, president and CEO, ABA, says:
"On behalf of all of us at ABA, we are deeply saddened to learn that industry icon Ron Turano passed away after a long, courageous battle with ALS. Ron was very much a larger-than-life individual who embodied service, leadership and above all else family. He and his brothers took the small family bakery started by his father and uncle from $1200 in oven parts in the trunk of a sedan and grew it into the household name it is today.
All along the way, family was at the center of the family business. Ron served with distinction as ABA Chair from 2006-2008. His leadership at a critical time for both ABA and IBIE put both organizations on the path to long-term strength for the entire baking industry. Ron was universally respected and admired in the baking industry which was recognized by being inducted into the Baking Hall of Fame along with his two brothers.
Ron was incredibly involved in Chicago and national Italian American activities. Inspired by his desire for his grandchildren to fully understand their roots in Calabria, Italy he successfully ran for the Italian Senate to represent Italian expats from North America. His sponsored annual family trips to the family farm in Calabria are legendary. He wanted his family to know their roots and the sweetest figs in the world.
Ron and his beloved wife Patty were inseparable at family and industry events. Even after Ron retired and was diagnosed with ALS, he was always extremely interested in his industry family as well. We would talk at length about what was going on in the industry and his peers, friends, and competitors. We pray for Ron and the entire Turano family. His passing leaves a gaping hole in all our lives, but especially theirs."