Tony's Market - Takes You Back in Time
Visiting Tony’s Market is a Combination Culinary and Cultural Adventure
Sausages are hand-made at least once a week, and even more often during busy times, so at any point you may come in to see Tony or his assistant, Aspasia, grinding the meat and filling the casings for that day’s sausage. Tony says the secret ingredient in his sausage is love – and from the delivery of the special ingredients to the packaging of the meats, deli and specialty items that they carry, one would have to agree. Everything is done with care and concern, whether it be grinding the hamburger directly from sirloin for a customer, or cutting a particularly delectable slice of prosciutto for a taste, or ordering the prime meat for delivery and cutting for a customer’s order.
Many customers call ahead to get their meats and deli items cut and packaged for pickup.
Although the store doesn’t open until 8:00, phone calls start early – 7:00 AM or even before. Tony answers the phone personally at this hour, as he stocks the shelves and begins preparing orders for the day.
Several local restaurants carry certain of Tony’s meats exclusively, including his sausages, steaks and veal cutlets, choosing them for their quality and flavor. Amongst others, Tony has supplied all of the meat to the ever popular Pino’s Pizza , in Cleveland Circle, for 45 years. He provides sausages to his trendy, and crowd-pleasing next door neighbor restaurant, Geoffrey’s Café , and prime steaks to the fashionable and fabulous Sophia’s Grotto , both in Roslindale square. Tony has a strong, customer-oriented service record with these and other restaurants with whom he works. Call and speak to Tony directly to set up these relationships. Even the packaging of the meat and deli items is distinctive, a heavy white waxed butcher paper, carefully placed in clear heavy plastic, which reflects the quality and care of everything put together at the store.
The real fun comes in, however, with the customers who come and browse the store, selecting items and talking with proprietor Antonio DeBenedictis – “Tony”. Tony knows his customers, and is quick to ask about family, the news of the day, and to share his news as well. New customers often ask about Tony’s roots – his delightful Italian accent leaves little doubt about his background – and he is happy to share his experiences from growing up in a small village, Avellino, near Naples – to his vast cooking knowledge. He is also a lifelong fan of opera, and an avid (and talented) ballroom dancer, topics that he will joyfully discuss.
Customers will come in to recount their visits to Italy, and to ask about preparing dishes that they first tasted in Europe, but wish to emulate at home. The many Italian regulars will often come in, joining the conversation, and with the air punctuated with Italian Opera in the background, one may hear Tony chatting away in Italian, or Aspasia explaining a great Greek recipe in her native Greek., or any number of other languages as true meat connoisseurs come in to have their specialty meats prepared by Tony. The store has a truly European feel to it, and the incredible warmth and comraderie of Tony and his assistants only helps to create a charm and caring neighborhood feeling that keeps people coming back – whether they walk in from the neighborhood, as many do, or drive, as some customers do, from Worcester or New Hampshire or Newport, just to find the best possible meats around, and to drink in the wonderful atmosphere of the store.