SCHENECTADY — Cappiello Foods, an Italian specialty store and city staple for more than a century, will be closing later this month, the shop’s owners announced last week.
“After 101 years of business in Schenectady we are announcing today that we will be closing our doors on March 19th,” reads a message posted on the store’s Facebook page by Serena Cappiello and Adrien Washington-Cappiello, the business’s third- and fourth-generation operators, respectively.
While the message goes on to say a number of factors went into the decision, including “supply, economic and health reasons,” it ultimately came down to the final wish of Mary Cappiello, who operated the business for more than 75 years up until her death in 2019.
“This decision wasn’t easy at all to come to, it was made due to a combination of supply, economic and health reasons but ultimately it comes down to following Mary’s final verbal and last will wishes for us to close and sell the business upon her passing,” the March 5 post reads.
Adrien Washington-Cappiello and Serena Cappiello declined to be interviewed Thursday, and directed a reporter to the Facebook post.
It’s unclear what the family’s future plans are.
“We understand that this news will probably come as a shock to many, we’ve worked here for over 50 and 30 years, respectively, and it was always our intention to keep our family business going strong (even during a pandemic) but sadly we are at a point where the reality of things outweighs that vision,” the post reads.
Cappiello Foods was founded by Lucia and Francesco Cappiello soon after the couple settled in Schenectady after immigrating from Sorrento, Italy in the early 1920s, according to the shop’s website.
The couple began manufacturing various cheeses and selling them door-to-door before setting up a store at 510 Broadway in 1921, which has remained in operation ever since.
In the decades that followed, the business grew and eventually splintered off into a retail store, Cappiello Foods, Inc., and a manufacturer, F. Cappiello Dairy Products, Inc.
The manufacturing side of the business was sold to Wisconsin-based BelGioioso Cheese Inc. in 2011.
The business will operate during regular business hours, selling “pizza, stuffed breads and sandwiches still available while supplies last,” according to the Facebook post.
“We would like to thank the community for all of your patronage, love, and happy memories throughout the years; there’s a lifetime of those memories in these walls and like with Mary those memories cannot and will not ever will be forgotten,” the message reads.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.