Italian American Digest JT DIGEST Summer 2018 June First (1) - Page 4

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Tricentennial cont . from page 3 was a revolutionary development and allowed the brothers to begin to service their same customers through wholesale delivery . Joseph and Angelo , Jr . sought out grocers , restaurants and specialty stores throughout the region who already serviced these clients .
After almost 80 years in the French Quarter , Brocato ’ s decided to move the store to its current and largest location in Mid-City . The North Carrollton Avenue store still retains the Old World atmosphere that had
A print advertisement for Taormina ’ s Italian Food Products
been carefully created on Ursulines Street : slowly turning ceiling fans , rows of apothecary jars containing colorful candies , and white , glasstopped tables transported customers back to the era of Angelo , Sr ., an era when the fashionable Sicilian parlor flourished .
The damage done to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina disrupted the operations of many local businesses ; Angelo Brocato ’ s was no exception .
After a great deal of hard work , Angelo Brocato ’ s reopened on September 23 , 2006 . Today , Angelo ,
Sr .’ s great-grandson Arthur Brocato presides over the operations of this New Orleans institution .
- Enrico Villamaino III
PROGRESSO
Progresso is well
known today for its production of high quality canned food products . Its origins are rooted both in New Orleans and its Italian immigrant population .
The company emerged from the merging of two prominent Italian importing companies in the Crescent City .
Vincent Taormina and his cousin Frank were the owners and operators of “ Taormina Brothers Grocery .” They met with great success selling tomatoes throughout the greater New Orleans area ; they were so successful that they sold more orders than they could fill and needed funds to set up a larger canning operation .
Giuseppe Uddo , himself a son of Sicilian immigrants , had already established an impressive canning operation with a nationwide reach . Uddo proposed a merger with the Taorminas in 1925 as his ability to distribute could easily complement their ability to produce sales .
The resultant company was “ The Uddo and Taormina Corporation ” and they , in 1949 , created the Progresso label , specializing in canned Italian food products , which became mostly soup , olive oil , tomatoes , spaghetti , ravioli and beans .
The Pillsbury Company acquired Progresso in 1988 . General Mills acquired Pillsbury in 2001 .
- Enrico Villamaino III
Italian American Digest SUMMER 2018
Momteleone is one of the few family-owned hotels in New Orleans .
MONTELEONE
Antonio Monteleone ’ s story was one of rags to riches , befitting the protagonist of a Horatio Alger tale . A poor shoemaker by trade , Monteleone immigrated from Sicily to New Orleans in 1880 . He was able to set up a small cobbler shop on Royal Street , itself a hub of local commerce and banking .
His business thrived and Monteleone was able to invest in additional real estate .
Wanting to try his hand as a hotelier , he purchased a small hotel at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets . Soon thereafter , the Commercial Hotel , just next door , was available for purchase . Monteleone bought the Commercial and merged the property with his own .
Renamed the Hotel Monteleone in 1908 , it underwent several further renovations throughout the 20th century . The Hotel Monteleone is one of the few familyowned hotels to survive the Great Depression and the only high-rise building in the French Quarter ’ s interior .
The Hotel ’ s legacy has only grown more grand since the introduction of the Carousel Bar , a favorite haunt of literary greats Ernest Hemingway , Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner .
Antonio ’ s great-grandson William Monteleone Jr . currently oversees hotel operations .
- Enrico Villamaino III
PIAZZA D ’ ITALIA
During his tenure as mayor of New Orleans , Moon Landrieu repeatedly stated that he wanted to erect a monument to the city ’ s Italian Americans . American Italian Renaissance Foundation founder Joseph Maselli recommended a piazza instead .
Postmodern architect Charles