Open 7 days, 6AM - 9PM (365 days)
(609) 394-7161 Website Google Maps
(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business) Italian People’s Bakery (“IPB”) has been an institution in Chambersburg since Pasquale Gervasio opened a bake shop in 1936. The current location on Butler St is one of the few surviving hold-over businesses from Chambersburg’s Italian past, in part because the bakery services a local chain of suburban storefronts from Ewing to Levittown to Yardville. Offices and central bakery facilities are located on Butler Street, and enable the Butler store location to stay open 365 days/year.
Frankly, in general, we’ve not been a huge fan of the store, because we’ve felt its baked items were of mixed quality. The cannolis are good: IPB fills the tubes with the sweet ricotta filling to order, which means the tubes stay crispy if you eat them within an hour or two of purchasing them. Other items, in our opinion, have sacrificed quality to price. They’re OK, but I’m of an age where, if I’m going to indulge in a sweet, I want it to be of exceptional quality, not just OK.
So we’ve never wanted to review IPB until now, based on a tip that their hoagies are really good. And indeed they are.
Hoagies come in three sizes (S, M, L). Depicted is a medium Italian Hoagie (base price $6.60 in June of 2015), which is large enough for all but the most voracious appetites. You have a choice of plain, sesame, or whole wheat torpedo rolls. We ordered our sandwich on a sesame roll and were quite pleased with it: it provided a satisfying, chewy, slightly flaky crust: enough to provide a little extra body to the sandwich without becoming overpowering. We’ve tried their regular torpedo roll in other contexts (e.g. FD Subs in Ewing uses IPB’s rolls). It’s softer, good for its type, but not to our taste.
In our book, IPB gets the bread to salad to meat ratio just about right, heavy on the salad with a moderate amount of meat and cheese. People who prefer overstuffed meat sandwiches might be disappointed, though no doubt you can order extra meat. The base price of under $7 is actually a very good price for the size and quality of the sandwich, though I was surprised to get charged an extra dollar ($0.50 each) for hot peppers and pickles to be added (which makes the pricing less than bargain but still reasonable).