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Rich Labriola is a self-taught dough aficionado and Chicago’s premier artisan baker.


Labriola, whose nickname, “Chief Dough Boy,” is printed on his business card, was in elementary school when he started helping at his father’s pizza joint in Calumet Park, getting a feel for the dough and the attention to detail that distinguishes a great pie from a merely good one. After a stint running his own pizza place at 19 with his brother and brother-in-law, Labriola worked as a meter reader for Commonwealth Edison for three years before getting fired — a blessing in disguise, it turned out.


That’s when Labriola’s uncle introduced him to crusty artisanal bread from Casa Nostra, a Northwest Side bakery. The owner wanted to drum up business on the South Side and southern suburbs, which was all Labriola needed to hear to launch a bread distribution business. He went from delivering bread out of his car to establishing Labriola Baking Company three years later, in 1993.


Labriola tirelessly studied and practiced the bread-baking craft, taking classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute. After perfecting his sourdough, he took it to Spago Chicago, new on the scene in 1996. The restaurant became the first of hundreds of Labriola’s wholesale customers. His bread was sold at the first Trader Joe’s stores in the Chicago area and at McCormick Place.


In 2008, Labriola opened Labriola Bakery & Cafe in Oak Brook, serving a wide array of sandwiches served on his artisan breads, the iconic Richie Burger’s on pretzel bun, and Neapolitan Pizzas.


Though he sold Labriola Baking Company in 2013, Labriola has since expanded his restaurants to Labriola Chicago on Michigan Avenue and the Italian small plates and pizza destination La Barra in Oak Brook. Chicago food journalist Steve Dolinsky has named Labriola’s deep-dish pizza best in the city.


He turned his attention to donuts — and the possibility of doing for donuts what he did for artisan bread — after watching a travel show featuring Stan Berman, owner of the eponymous, iconic Los Angeles donut shop. Labriola phoned Berman, Berman answered and a friendship between the two bakers was born.


The pair’s partnership to bring Stan’s Donuts and a true coffee-and-donut culture east was made official with the 2014 opening of Stan’s Donuts & Coffee in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Stan’s Donuts has become known as much for its wide variety of flavors and seasonal donuts, 20 locations throughout Chicago, and fun community events such as the Stan’s Donut 5K.


In 2021, Stan’s launched in the grocery channel with 4-packs of two of their most-loved donuts:
Chocolate Dipped and Birthday Cake. As with all Stan’s products, these donuts are made with
the highest quality ingredients – real vanilla, whole eggs, premium chocolate…
Stan’s Donuts have set a new standard for quality and taste in the donut segment and they bring
 incremental sales to retailer’s in-store bakery business.

In 2024, after 15 years in business at Labriola Bakery & Cafe, we combined the best of both Oak Brook concepts into the new Labriola Ristorante. This takes all the same delicious dishes, in our beautiful existing LaBarra location with a new look and feel. This innovative approach reflects his commitment to offering the best of both worlds to his customers.

Rich's entrepreneurial spirit also led him to establish the Doughboy Restaurant Group, which includes Labriola Oak Brook and Labriola Chicago at 535 N. Michigan Avenue. Additionally, he owns and operates 17 Stan's Donuts & Coffee locations in Chicago. As well as a robust Stan’s wholesale program featuring Stan’s Donuts and San Francisco Sourdough.