NEW BRITAIN - They’re a dying breed, according to Joe Tropea, but his store is one the best still around.
Italian market and specialty deli Angelo’s Market, at 349 West Main Street, has been operating out of the Hardware City since 1956, providing quality foods and service.
“We strive on quality, quality and quality,” said Tropea, who began working at the market at age 11, under Angelo, an Italian opera singer who opened the market. Tropea took over the business at age 21.
The market offers prepared foods, all made from scratch, which range from fresh pastries; pizzas; stromboli; an olive bar; stuffed peppers with prosciutto and provolone; a wide array of deli meats, including sopresata from Italy; dried salted cod, as well as anything else requested. Deli sandwiches, salads and soups are also available.
“People walk in and ask, ‘Can you make chicken Florentine for us?’” said Tropea, who’s back in the kitchen with his chef all days of the week, alongside his manager, Sal Avella, and 20 employees preparing foods. “No problem we make it.”
The market also offers a storefront shop with oils, sauces, cheeses and various pantry items, and catering services for events all over the state. From a backyard party to a picnic or a stag party, Angelo’s Fine Catering will serve it all and even venture to New York, like they recently did.
“We don’t want to be fast food. We want to be good food, high quality…we don’t want to sell junk. Our customer’s come in because they know they’re getting real chicken, real produce.”
The freshness is what makes Angelo’s different from other eateries.
“We actually make our food,” said Tropea.
While some eateries are utilizing Uber Eats and online ordering more and more, Tropea said the best way to get food from Angelo’s is to stop by the stop and pay a visit in person because of the personal care that is put into each product.
“Just like at home, it doesn’t take 10 minutes, you have to prepare it, you have to get the ingredients, you have to cook it and that’s what we do,” said Tropea.
Along with the fresh foods, Tropea still operates his market and catering services through a face to face business model, too.
“They have respect,” he said of other owners he works with. “We sit down, have a coffee, still the old school way…if I have a problem with a product I can talk directly to the owner and we correct it right away.”
For information on products and prepared foods at Angelo’s visit angelosmarket.com. Full catering options by Angelo’s Fine Catering can be found at myangelos.com.
The store is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their number is 860-223-7340.
“We want to continue to be traditional,” said Tropea.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.