Sustained by Saints and Song, This Little Italy Shopkeeper Hangs On

Mar 17, 2017 641


E. Rossi & Company, an Italian gift shop on Grand Street near Mulberry Street in Little Italy, has become something of a museum of Italian-American pop culture. The shop’s backlogged inventory includes religious items and kitchen supplies, such as Italian coffee makers and pasta cutters, piled high overhead.

Customers can buy molds for cannoli shells or a “Fuggedaboutit” baseball hat, or grab a replacement gasket for a cappuccino machine or a joke street parking sign that warns: “You Taka My Space, I Breaka You Face.” “We’re the last of the old mom-and-pop stores in Little Italy, which has really shrunk over the years,” said Ernest Rossi, 66, the shop’s owner. “There are few Italians even living here anymore.”

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