Paolo Strippoli opened Caffe Aurora's doors for business at 201 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY on December 3, 1941.
Paolo apprenticed and learned his trade in Bari, Italy. He immigrated to New York in 1935 and worked several years at Caffe Puglia in Yonkers, NY until he had saved enough money to start his own pasticceria (pastry shop).
Choosing a name for his business presented a problem. Friends advised him not to choose a name that had a strong Italian flavor, because the United States was at war with Italy at the time. So he chose " Aurora " which means " the dawn ". In October of 1942 Paolo enlisted in the United States Army to serve his new country during a time of war. From October of 1942 until December of 1945 Caffe Aurora was operated by his sister Gina, who added a new dimension to the fledgling pastry shop, and contributed greatly to its future success. When Paolo was discharged from the Army, he returned to resume his dream of owning his own pastry shop. In June of 1946, he married Filomena Quercia, also of Bari, Italy. Together they worked at building their business and their family. They raised three children, Sabino, Lucretia and Louis and instilled in them their values of work and family. Holidays were spent working together as a family.
Poughkeepsie's changing environment however forced them to relocate after 21 years in that location. In August of 1962 they moved the bakery to its present location 145 Mill Street in the city's Northern section once called " Little Italy ", because of the many residents and businesses of Italian descent.
On July 04, 1979, Filomena or Menina, as she was affectionately called, tragically died in an auto accident. This eventually led to Paolo's decision to retire. In October of 1980, Paolo's youngest son Louis took over ownership of Caffe Aurora. Besides apprenticing alongside his parents he also furthered his abilities by receiving a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a major in marketing and a minor in personnel administration. He also studied at the Culinary Institute of America to further expand their product line. Today Caffe Aurora continues the traditions instilled by Paolo and Filomena and its still possible to hear customers having conversations in Italian like they did in the days when Eleanor Roosevelt's limousine would pull up to the curb at Caffe Aurora and her chauffeur would get out and come in for a box of Petit Fours to take home to Hyde Park.