LaRosa Marketplace and Catering

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8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday,
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.







History


Our History

When I think of how my grandfather started our business back in 1928, I smile at the thought of him making Italian sausage using a cast iron bathtub and what looked to me like an old cannon situated in the basement of his two-family home in the south end of Hartford. He converted a four-car garage in the back of his home into a store and he was open for business.

With a lot of hard work and perseverance, he proceeded to peddle his sausage to restaurants and pizzerias in the area. His little store was full of imported pastas, oils and of course his sausage. As his sausage business grew, he decided to can his own olive oil. This time, he added a small building that connected his home to his garage and the finished product was his warehouse. I remember walking through this little area packed to the ceiling with merchandise, but the most memorable thing is the smell of the olive oil and the noise of the canning machine.

Now that he had sausage, pasta, and oil, the only thing missing was wine. He was not able to make his own wine, but he could sell the grapes. He proceeded to buy a truck load of grapes, but, where to store them was a problem. His solution was to put a metal roof extension in the front of the garage and closing the sides with heavy canvas tents, which made his driveway look like a circus!


A New Generation

Needless to say, some of his ideas were crazy; but they worked, all the way up to 1970 when he decided to retire and turn the business over to my father, mother, my husband and me. In 1992, my son Mark then joined us in this venture.

Taking over the business was not that easy. In order to sell our sausage as my grandfather had done for all those years, we needed to go under federal inspection, which meant that we would need a USDA-approved facility. We then purchased an old furniture storage warehouse still in the south end of Hartford. Within several months and thousands of dollars later, we turned this storage warehouse into a USDA-approved sausage kitchen.

Over the years, we added a storefront to sell unique items that we imported and distributed. In the early '90s, we made another large change – grinders, lunch, and catering. In the new millennium, we ended the wholesale grocery business, but continued the store front and sausage manufacturing. So what started out as a small sausage and oil cannery business has become a business to suit many different aspects of the food industry.

Joseph La Rosa, Founder and Grandfather

An Enduring Tradition of Quality

Although we have made many changes, one thing still remains the same: my grandfather's recipe for making good quality Italian sausage. To this day, our sausage not only tastes great, but it is also made from very lean meat with no preservatives or additives. Our sausage has traveled from Maine to Florida, California, Italy, Germany, and Russia – all at the hands of happy customers.

As the times have changed, so has the way people cook. They don't do it anymore; who has the time? All of us find ourselves in the same position: what are we going to have for dinner? If you're reading this, you have the answer!