An Italian market will open in the coming year in Downtown Washington.
“It all started this past spring,” said Monica Buel, owner, who had reached out to her brother, Joe Lanasa, about a business opportunity they could do together.
At first, they were interested in opening a market in the former Jasper house at 320 Lafayette St.
When that didn’t work out, Buel said they let the idea go.
Then, during a stop at the old post office in Downtown Washington to mail bridal shower invitations, Buel and Angela Gewinner, her mother, saw a for sale sign on the space where Ed’s Meat Market at 24 W. Second St. used to be located.
They contacted the realtor and the idea was reborn.
“That kind of got us started,” Buel said. “She (my mother) wants to add a little bit of Sicily into the German town of Washington.”
The three owners plan to name the new market Angelina’s after Gewinner’s grandmother.
“Mom’s grandmother was married to Dominic Bommarito and he owned a bakery in downtown St. Louis (called) Bommarito’s Bakery,” Buel said.
Bommarito passed away in 1925 and Angelina Bommarito began working as a seamstress for men’s clothing.
“She was quite a lady,” Gewinner said. “(She) always looked like a little doll when she left the house.”
“She was an inspiration for my mom,” Buel said.
The Bommaritos immigrated from Italy.
“So that’s how we got to where we are,” Buel said.
Angelina’s market will have a deli to serve hot and cold sandwiches to go.
“We’ll have all the deli meats and cheeses that you would normally get from any market, as well as some specialty Volpi,” Lanasa said. “Volpi is a brand of salami from The Hill.”
The market also will offer Boar’s Head meats.
The sandwiches will come with side options, including mostaccioli, coleslaw and salad.
“If I see there’s a real need for it, I’ll make some hot German potato salad,” Gewinner said. “I’ve got a good recipe for that.”
Buel said Gewinner’s priority with the market is the Italian part of it.
“She wants to put in the Italian spices, breads, cookies, tomatoes, olive oils — all that pertains to Italian food like on St. Louis The Hill,” Buel said. “We want to bring a taste of The Hill to Washington.”
The market also will sell homemade pasta sauces and pizzas, Italian wines, sasizzas and spadinis.
“We’ll have sausage and cheese trays that people going to wineries could come in and grab,” Lanasa said.
The owners also have plans for a kitchen for baked goods. They’re working with Steve Strubberg, Horn Architects, to design the layout.
“We haven’t seen his plans yet, but we’re excited about that,” Buel said.
The market also will offer grocery items, such as milk, bread and butter.
“Living here and knowing that there’s not a grocery store in this little (downtown) area, we talked about putting one in the store as well as Italian stuff,” said Buel.
“We’re just excited to be part of the community and help maybe fill a void,” Lanasa said.
The family is planning on being involved in the community.
“I know that each business down here participates in the town and I hope that we are going to do that as well,” Buel said. “It’s really neat that they all get together and work together as a group to make downtown really nice.”
She said they want the market to feel homey and personal while also providing good food for the community.
“We want it to have an old-time feel,” Buel said. “We just want an old-time, quaint Italian store.”
“It’s going to be a fun place,” Gewinner added.
The plan is to have Angelina’s open sometime in 2019.
The market hours have not been determined yet, Gewinner said.
“Somebody will have to be here early cooking,” she said, “and then I’m going to leave the door open so you can smell it.”