Arrivederci – Farewell Post

This blog was created as a project for my Online Journalism class at Rowan University.

As the semester comes a close, I would like to reflect upon what I’ve learned through reporting and creating content on this blog.

Regarding journalism, I believe that I learned a lot about interviewing. This entire project was a learning experience. I have no prior blogging experience, or learned skills in photography, audio, and video content. It was sometimes frustrating to learn even the basics of these processes, but ultimately it helped enhance the storytelling of the blog and make it a more varied experience.

Most importantly, I learned about the people of 9th Street. It was truly invigorating to hear people’s stories about their experiences in the Italian Market. I spoke with people who had a deep-rooted family history, and people who are relatively new to the Market, but their passion for their neighborhood is undeniable in every case.

I do plan to continue this blog and continue to learn about the people, history, and future of 9th Street. Thank you to those who have read my posts and provided feedback, and especially to those people of the market who gave me their time and their stories.

Here are 5 of my favorite posts from the blog:

From Cappuccino to Cutlery: Video Interview with Mariella Esposito, Owner of Fante’s Kitchen Wares Shop

Whether you need a world-class pasta strainer, top-of-the-line cutlery, or a steaming hot cappuccino, Fante’s Kitchen Wares Shop is the place to go.

Fante’s is the oldest cookware store in the country and located in the heart of the Italian Market! Mariella Esposito, Fante’s co-owner, started working at the store in 1970 as a part-time employee while still in high school. She arrived in Philadelphia as an immigrant from Italy and worked alongside her brothers in the store for the Fante family. “The Italian Market has been a home for me for the past 40 years,” said Esposito.

Fante’s opened on 9th Street in 1906, originally as a carpenter shop owned by father and son team Dominic and Luigi Fante. According to Esposito, when son Dominic took over the business, he did not know how to make furniture, so he sold pre-made furniture and turned the store into a gift shop. In the 1940’s, Fante’s started to bring some cookware into the retail store, and they have not turned back since!

It was not until 1981 when Esposito and her brothers took over the business and developed it into the full-fledged cookware store it is today. They are most well-known for their traditional Italian cookware, such as pizzelle irons and gnocchi boards, but carry a vast array of products for every cooking and baking need.

A look down one of the ‘gadgets’ aisles at Fante’s. Click to enlarge photo. (Photo/Catherine DeMuro)

Did I mention that Fante’s also has a fantastic coffee shop with a coffee of the day special? (It’s worth the visit for the beautiful aroma alone.)

Today Mariella took me on a tour of every nook and cranny of the wondrous kitchen shop. Watch the video below to hear her thoughts on the evolution of the Italian Market and get a sneak peek inside the store – including its most “FABULOUS” items!

Note: Video has been edited for length and clarity. Please check back for an updated post with an extended version of the interview.

Video recorded with my iPhone 6 and edited with iMovie. This was my very first experience with interview recording and video editing, so I certainly hope to improve from here!