Over a Century Old Institution Closing Doors on April 10
By Matthew Fischetti
When George Esposito was eight-years-old, his first job at his Grandfather’s store was selling garlic by the pound for 25 cents. 55 years later, he’s now ready to close shop.
The over a century old and four generation family-owned G. Esposito & Sons Pork Store, located on Court Street in Carroll Gardens, will be closing its doors on April 10.
In an interview with the Brooklyn Star, Esposito said that he would have liked to keep the store open for the decades long customers who have enjoyed the store but buyers were intimidated.
“Lots of people were interested [in buying the business] but when they see what we do here – it scared them away. We make everything. You know this isn’t a Trader Joes,” he said. “This is a homemade family business that makes everything from scratch.”
Esposito’s & Sons Pork Store is known for a lot more than just their pork: they serve hot and cold sandwiches, are well-known for their sausage and rice balls, and offer everything from cavatelli to potato salad.
The store was originally founded by Esposito’s grandfather, Giovanni Esposito. Originally from Naples, Giovanni immigrated to the United States in 1922 and opened up shop on Columbia and Union Street the same year. The store moved over to the Court Street location in 1977 when the original location’s nabe started to get more dangerous, said Esposito.
Back then the menu was different: selling traditional Italian foods like lamb heads and calf lungs. Around the mid to late 80s is when the store started to sell more Italian-American dishes and added sandwiches to their menus, as the nabe changed.
“I’ll never eat sausage again anywhere. That’s a fact. I bought a shrink wrap machine just for myself,” Esposito said.
Since the announcement of the store’s closing, Esposito said he has been inundated with orders. For the first time in the store’s history they are running low on inventory.
“I have like 30 trays ordered. Whole trays that people are going to freeze. I don’t know if you like eggplant parmesan, but there’s okay and there’s bad and there’s great. Our’s is outstanding,” said Esposito.
“I was heartbroken,” Brian Geltner, a 20 year customer of G. Esposito & Sons Pork Store said in an interview while munching on an Italian combo.
Some of his favorite things to order over the years have been the sausage parm, the italian combo and the eggplant parm – “but it’s all good,” he said.
“Whenever I buy sausages here to make tomato sauce, the sauce always comes out better than any other place,” Geltner said. “I don’t know why, but I go out of my way to come here before work.”