In the News

Agencia 'antimafia' a la caza de trabajadores en El Bronx

La Comisión de Integridad Empresarial está obligando a empleados de los mercados de Hunts Point a responder cuestionarios que invaden su vida privada

ramon_eldiarioNUEVA YORK — Los trabajadores de los mercados de Hunts Point, en El Bronx, están acostumbrados a madrugar y trabajar en condiciones duras. Pero ahora muchos consideran que la ciudad ha ido demasiado lejos al obligarles a llenar un cuestionario de 11 páginas con preguntas personales que invaden su privacidad.
La Comisión de Integridad Empresarial, BIC, que combate la influencia de la mafia en el Fulton Street Fish Market, pide información como los nombres y direcciones de excónyuges, cada residencia donde el solicitante ha vivido en la pasada década, el condominio que alquiló para sus vacaciones, y cualquier ofensa criminal o testimonio dado en una investigación civil o criminal.
"Mis empleados lo llenaron, pero en esta área hay muchos que se han negado a llenarlo porque se sienten incómodos con estas preguntas tan personales", dijo Ramón Eduardo, propietario de la fábrica de pan italiano IL Forno Bakery.
Eduardo, de 60 años, dijo que tuvo que pagarle a la BIC $7,000 para registrar su empresa y sus 47 empleados, todos latinos, para que consiguieran una identificación con foto de la BIC.
"Ellos dijeron que el propósito de la solicitud era sólo para fines de registro, pero las preguntas que hacían se metían demasiado en la vida personal de uno y eso no me pareció justo", dijo Rubén Balza, de 51 años, jefe de cocina IL Forno Bakery, quien lleva 6 años en su empleo.
Si el trabajador se niega a completar la solicitud o no lleva consigo la tarjeta de identificación, puede enfrentar fuertes multas.
La Comisión, que regula los mercados mayoristas de carne, pescado y otros productos en Hunts Point, ha incrementado su mira en las empresas en terrenos privados localizadas en las cercanías del mercado. Desde 2009, la agencia ha registrado 54 compañías en las áreas adyacentes al mercado y ha colectado información de sus empleados para revisión de antecedentes y tarjetas de identificación.
Muchas compañías creen que los requerimientos son una carga innecesaria, y más de tres docenas de ellas se quejaron de la Comisión la semana antepasada en una reunión de la Cámara de Comercio Greater Hunts Point, la cual representa a 700 negocios locales.
Josephine Infante, presidente de la Cámara, dijo que la BIC está empleando reglas de 1990, cuando había problemas de mafia en el mercado, y le hizo un llamado a "ponerse al día".


Read more as published in: El Diario



Hunts Point bakery Il Forno rolling in dough and winning kudos along the way

You've probably never have heard of Ramon Eduardo. But if you dine in New York restaurants like Orso or shop in local gourmet groceries, there's a good chance you've eaten his bread - and loved it.
In fact, Eduardo's eight-year-old wholesale bakery, Il Forno, in Hunts Point, bakes 37,000 loaves of artisanal bread a week. This year, it will cook up $4.5 million in sales and provide jobs to about 40 local workers.
Il Forno's customers include Citarella, Agata & Valentina, Gourmet Garage, Garden of Eden and famous theater district restaurant Joe Allen.
"I love them," said Michael Chernow, the co-owner of restaurant chain The Meatball Shop, which serves Il Forno breads in all four of its locations. "The bread is very simple, it's perfectly balanced and it sustains it's integrity."
Those kind of accolades helped Eduardo, a 60-year-old who was born in the Dominican Republic, score the Bronx Small Business of the Year Award from the city this year.
Eduardo's path from immigrant worker to successful business owner began with a stroke of bad luck.
Twenty years ago, he was doing maintenance and cooking for restaurateur Joe Allen, when he broke his ankle in a car accident.
After spotting Eduardo in crutches, Allen offered him a job as a distributor for a new business he was about the launch, the Sullivan Street Bakery.
For ten years, Eduardo moved up the ranks and learned the bakery business, establishing key contacts along the way.
By the time he left Sullivan Street ten years later, he was confident he could start his own bakery.
"I had a lot of good relationships with people and they were willing to stay with me," Eduardo said.
With $200,000 of his own savings and a bread recipe from Puglia, Italy, he found a space in Hunts Point and got to work building a commercial kitchen.
Il Forno, which means the oven in Italian, opened its doors in 2005 and sales have been rising ever since.
Eduardo credits hard work and a good product for his success. "If you put your heart and soul into a business, particularly in New York City, you can make anything."
pfurman@nydailynews.com


Read more as published in: Daily News



Our 10 Best Loaves of Bread in NYC

Pane Puglia from Il Forno -
puglieseThis Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region. - This Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region. - This Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region. - This Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region. - This Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region.- This Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region.- This Bronx-based bakery reproduces the rough-hewn loaves of the Apulia section of Italy ("Puglia" in English), long flattened breads with a deeply brown crust, and a light crumb, perfect for sandwiches of the spicy soppressata of the region.


Read more as published in: The Village Voice



Ung: Tangy loaves are this baker's bread and butter

"NorthYou may have seen the names on menus: Valley Shepherd cheeses, Garden State Stout and Pat LaFrieda meats. What makes these sources so sought after by the area's best chefs? We wanted to find out. This summer, Corner Table highlights some of the big names in locally produced food and beverages, visiting the places they're made and getting to know the people who make them. After just one bite of moist, airy, crackle-crusted Il Forno bread - with its distinctive, sneaking tang - I had to know how it came to be.
Owner Ramon Eduardo had two surprising answers:
A car accident.
And cabbage.


First, the crash. It was 1993, and Eduardo had been working for famed Manhattan restaurateur Joe Allen for years, as a cook and as a mechanic. But while Eduardo was driving along a rainy Bronx road one night, another motorist ran a red light and smashed into him, breaking Eduardo's ankle. When Allen saw Eduardo trying to fix a refrigerator on crutches, he offered him a more sedentary job, doing sales for his new enterprise : The Sullivan Street Bakery.


Read more as published in: North Jersey