Meet the new Mr. Italy

Jul 15, 2021 302

Lifelong Patchoguean Joe Brandi was born at Port Jefferson hospital on Jan. 6, 1948, and has resided on Cleveland Street his entire life. Growing up with his sister Francis, he remembers walking up the block almost every day to visit his grandmother, Vincenza “Jennie” Brandi, who lived at 18 Cleveland Street with his Aunt Catherine, who was stricken with polio during the epidemic, along with Uncle Angelo, who everyone called ZiZi.

Between the three of them, they would bake cakes, Italian pastries, and all kinds of authentic Italian food, as well as make wedding gowns and dresses for many local brides. His grandmother was a very proud Italian, but even more proud to be an American citizen. She would tell stories of Italy and about their ancestors, and always stressed that you should be proud of your Italian heritage.

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