Tag Archives: Caffe Sicilia

BEST WEDDING VENDORS NORTH SHORE BOSTON REGION

Esther Mathieu livmatt_06-20-2015-256 (1)Perhaps you are planning a wedding or special event in the coming months. Our daughter Liv Hauck and Matt O’Rourke, married on June 20th, wanted to share about the talented people who helped make their dream wedding come true. From caterers Dan Allen and Andy Maitland to Esther Mathieu Photography, everyone involved did an outstanding job. We wish to express our most heartfelt thanks to all and thought the best way to say a big thank you to each was to provide contact information and a brief description about their businesses.

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Invitation by Shaina Gregory

First and foremost, our tremendous thanks and appreciation goes to Dan Allen Catering. He, along with partner Andy Maitland (Maitland Mountain Farm), prepared an exquisite menu using the most freshest and sweetest ingredients from local farms and fisheries. The theme was New England clambake meets county dinner, based around everyone’s favorite main courses—Ken Duckworth’s sublime recipe for lobster risotto and a wonderfully delicious buttermilk fried chicken. Captain Joe and Sons provided the lobster and the fresh vegetables came from Maitland Mountain Farm, as well as from Appleton Farms. Even the honey butter for the cornbread came from Dan’s own beehives! We were all raving about how delicious and unique were the hors d’oeuvres, which included such tantalizing tidbits as open-faced braised rib sliders, smoked tomato roasted corn arancini, and salmon canapés with mascarpone, capers, and fresh dill. Accompaniment dishes were devoured as equally as were the main courses and hors d’oeuvres—traditional clam chowder, farm fresh succotash, and homemade pickled vegetable—to name only a few.

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Son Alex’s Heaping Helping

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Dan’s assistant Mary made the divinely delicious desserts—raspberry tarts, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, brownie layers—the list goes on and on!

Dan and Andy were an absolute dream to work with. I know you will be hearing more about their catered events in the near future. Dan is in the process of launching his website and in the meantime, he may be reached at 978-491-9493 or dangallen@yahoo.com.

Esther Mathieu is simply the most talented life style photographer in our region. Liv first became interested in Esther’s work from her Instagram account and we all fell in love with her luminous imagery. And she is a total sweetheart to work with! The photos are a treasure and we’ll be pouring over all, thanking Esther for capturing Liv and Matt’s wedding day with such grace and beauty. Contact Esther at: info@esthermathieu.com.

Our deepest thanks to Lisa Smith who was our fabulous videographer. Lisa is a producer at Cape Ann TV and is also a dear friend. We so appreciate her time and talent. Lisa was discreet; you would hardly know that she was present. We’ll be looking at the footage in the coming days and can hardly wait to see. Lisa can be reached at: lsmith@capeanntv.org. 

Like a dream, the enchanting music floating throughout the evening was by none other than Cape Ann’s own beautiful songstress Renee Dupuis and the fabulously talented Joe Cardoza and Nathan Cohen. From the sweetly romantic, “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” to which the bride and groom danced their first dance, to one of the bridesmaid’s favorites, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin,” there isn’t a song Renee, Joe, and Nathan could not play, and play beautifully. Could we have been more fortunate than to have these extraordinary talents performing at Liv and Matt’s wedding? Click Renee, Joe, and Nathan to learn more about their current projects. To book the trio, contact Renee at: reneedupuismusic.gmail.com

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Melissa Glorieux of Aster B. Flowers created the exquisite bride’s bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, and table arrangements. Not only were the flowers full and lush and perfect, they are all locally grown at her farm in Essex! Aster. B grows her flowers using organic practices only. Read more about Melissa and her sustainable farm here: Aster B. Flowers. 

livmatt_06-20-2015-261The very talented Maria Cracchiolo from Caffe Sicilia made the seashore inspired wedding cake as well as the perfectly coordinating 65th anniversary cake for Liv’s grandparents. Delicious and delightful (both cakes), Maria is a pleasure to work with. She also made the cannolis we served at Friday night’s celebration and they too, were devoured by all! Maria can be reached at: 978-283-7345.EM livmatt_06-20-2015-466EM livmatt_06-20-2015-301Emily Reed did a stunning job styling the bride and bridesmaid’s hairdos. Each girl’s hair was perfectly suited to her personality and each was so happy with her work. It was a delight to see their expressions after she had created her magic. Emily can be reached at: ejwatt@gmail.com.

Liv Matt ©Kim Smith 2015

Special thanks to Virgilio’s Italian Bakery for catering the party the night before the wedding—the sandwiches, antipasto, and entrees were a tremendous hit. And Nancy Virgilio helped us order just the right amount so that there would be sandwiches enough for late night snacking! Call 978-283-5295 for information abut Virgilio’s catering menu

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Kathleen Erickson, owner of Savour Wine and Cheese, was instrumental in choosing the wines and Prosecco. We informed her of the menu and of our budget for both the reception and Friday night’s celebration and she knew just what to recommend. Thank you Kathleen for the wonderful selections; they were simply perfect.EM livmatt_06-20-2015-442

Fun and imaginative, the invitation set the tone of the wedding weekend from the get go. Liv and Matt designed the invite and worked with Shaina to refine the look. Contact Shaina at: sbethg@gmail.com.

Gloucester Rental Center did an excellent job and we found nearly all of our event needs there: Gloucester Rental Center.

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Last, but not in the least, we wish to thank Stan Wohlfarth of Stan’s Classic Service for the vintage VW limo service. Everyone loved that bus! Stan may be reached at: stan_wohlfarth@msn.com.

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PHOTOS BY ESTHER MATHIEU*

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Shaina Gregory Invitation

*With the exception of invitation scans and the group photo of the wedding party.

Photos of the guests and wedding party to come after Liv and Matt return from Thailand.

 

SPECIAL SICILIAN REPRESENTATIVES HONOR MASSACHUSETTS FIRST SICILIAN AMERICAN WOMAN MAYOR ROMEO THEKAN

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan -1 ©Kim Smith 2015.A special group of representatives from Sicily were given the grand tour of Gloucester today by Mayor Romeo Thekan and her assistants. 

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan City Hall ©Kim Smith 2015

The day began with a tour of City Hall led by the Mayor, followed by a visit to the Cape Ann Museum.

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan Cape Ann Museum ©Kim Smith 2015.

Rhonda Faloon, Cape Ann Museum’s Director, guided the guests through the galleries. This group of international travelers were tremendously impressed with Gloucester’s gem of a museum and were particularly interested in the historical aspect of the fishing and related industries.Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan -3 ©Kim Smith 2015.

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan Causeway Restaurant ©Kim Smith 2015.Next stop on the Mayor’s grand tour of Gloucester was a fabulous lunch hosted by the Causeway Restaurant. Delicious and fresh course after course of seafood splendor was served–calamari, mussels, shrimp, clams, and octopus–to name just some of the heaping helpings that make the Causeway a Cape Ann destination restaurant.

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan Wicked Tuna ©Kim Smith 2015.What a treat for the guests to run into none other than Dave Carraro and Paul Hebert from Wicked Tuna, also at the Causeway for their fabulously famous fare!

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan Beauport Princess ©Kim Smith 2015. copyNext landing-place was the cruise ship Beauport Princess. Bridget Jaramillo, Cruiseport’s Director of Events, hosted the group while Captain John Randazzo steered the ship through the inner harbor.

Sicilian Envoy Honors Mayor Romeo Thekan Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2015.The Mayor and guests next headed over to Caffe Sicilia for expresso and Maria’s heavenly pastries. The Caffe was packed with patrons, but all managed to squeeze in and enjoy Caffe Sicilia’s vibrant atmosphere, welcoming hospitality, and sweet treats.

 

Although I unfortunately had to leave, the Mayor was next planning to take the guests on a drive along the shoreline to tour Cape Ann lighthouses!

The song “Piccolo Fiore” has special meaning to Mayor Romeo Thekan. It was first sung to her by her first husband Antonino Romeo when they became engaged. He again sang it to her at their wedding, and then at the baptism of their daughter. “Piccolo Fiore” was written by Salvo Romano, a member of today’s representatives.

Representatives and guests included: Salvo Romano, Gil Lana, Maurici Beppe, Tony Gambino, Ross Zagmi, Giuseppe Sabella, Paolo D’Angelo, Rosalia Favazza, Peter Cusenza, Mimmi Galanis, Agatha LoGrasso, Salvatore LoGrosso, Giovanna Margiotta, Paula Shaker, Rocco LoGrosso, Ludoviea Mauriei, Mari Annaloro, Gambino Salvatore, Frank Sclafani, and Girolama Galanis.

Thank you Mayor Romeo Thekan for all that you do to for our beautiful community!

SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE Read more

Buona Pasqua from Caffe Sicilia!

The beautiful, beautiful Easter desserts and confections are all hand made by Maria Cracchiolo, including the marzipan lambs! The refrigerator was bursting with special orders and it was a treat to see Maria’s lovely (and wonderfully delicious) Cassata Siciliana in a range of sizes.

Maria’s family is oftentimes there, hard at work alongside her, and especially during the holidays. Pictured with Maria is her husband, Giuseppe Cracchiolo. 

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See a quick glimpse of Maria making the Groppo’s Cassata Siciliana, posted around the time of the Feast of Saint Joseph.

Order Your Beautiful Caffe Sicilia Cassata Siciliana

Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Cassata Siciliana Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015

 

 

 

Live From Caffe Sicilia 

 

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Beautiful handcrafted Easter Sheep Mazapan a perfect addition to any Easter Basket!


Small Single Sheep $15, Large in Basket $18

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Enter Raffle To Win Giant Uova di Pasqua!

Tickets on sale now for a chance to win the “Uova di Pasqua” Giant Chocolate Easter Egg! A Traditional Italian Chocolate Egg Suprise, enjoyed by all ages during the Easter Holiday!

IMG_4470Caffe Sicilia has an assortment of  Uova di Pasqua Eggs available for sale while supplies last! Shop Caffe Sicilia soon for best selection of color, sizes and price ranges!  

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Don’t forget to place your holiday pastry order for next weekend!

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Don’t forget to tell them Sista Felicia Sent you in!

Order Your Beautiful Caffe Sicilia Cassata Siciliana for Easter Today!

During this year’s round of filming for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project, I had the wonderful good fortune to stop at Caffe Sicilia just as Maria Cracchiolo was about to decorate her signature Cassata Siciliana.

It was the morning of Saint Joseph Day and as you can imagine, Caffe Sicilia was bustling to fill the day’s special orders of delicious Sicilian pastries and altar breads. Nevertheless, I asked Maria if she would mind if I filmed her while she decorated the cake. No, not all, she graciously allowed. Maria is so deft at cake making that it took her only minutes to create this masterpiece. It’s all been captured for our film project! The Vine below gives a tiny glimpse of Maria’s artistry.

Cassata Siciliana is also traditionally served at Easter time. What a gorgeous gift Caffe Sicilia’s cassata would make to share at your family’s Easter celebration, which as you may know is coming up very soon, in less than two weeks, on Sunday, April 5th. Believe me when I write, Maria’s Cassata Siciliaina tastes as good as it looks–divine, actually! A partial list of the ingredients includes sponge cake, ricotta, liquor, marzipan, royal icing, and candied fruit.

Special orders may be placed by calling Caffe Sicilia at 978-283-7345.

Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Cassata Siciliana Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015

 

VIDEO: Making Saint Joseph Altar Bread with Caffe Sicilia’s Maria Cracchiolo

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.

Saint Joseph altar bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345.

 

 

As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph altar bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.

Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!

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Beautiful Saint Joseph Altar Bread Created by Caffe Sicilia

 

Paul Cary Goldberg Gets Some Local Love At His NYC Exhibit

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Joey a group of Gloucester Residents went to New York to support Paul Goldberg in his book Tutta la familglia here we are at a round table, we went up in the am and back same day but its was worth supporting local artist.

Sefatia

Editors Note:

Sefatia, the hair is looking fantastic.  You’ve got a little Farrah Fawcett thing going on there. Va Va Voom.

Little Italy on Main Street ~ 2014 Block Party Season Ends on a High Note!

Terri Gianni Gallo ©Kim Smith 2014Terri and Gianni Gallo with sister and friend

What fun was last night’s block party!!! The best event of the season was saved for the last, as the West End of Main Street Gloucester became “Little Italy.” The streets overflowed with hundreds of partygoers while Gianni and Terry Gallo broadcast live an episode of their new show, L’Italia Chiamò – Radio Show.L'Italia Chiamò ©Kim Smith 2014

cheese maker Luca Mignogna ©Kim Smith 2014Artisan cheese maker Luca Mignogna served samples of his outstanding cheeses as Chef Paolo La Boa created delicious appetizers of prosciutto, complemented with his signature pesto. Chef Paolo La Boa ©Kim Smith 2014The slew of Vespas parked out front of Caffe Sicilia caused everyone to stop and oogle.Vespas ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

I wished I could have stayed for the entire evening but unfortunately had to hurry home. Looking forward to next year’s Block Parties although, I don’t know how they’ll ever top last night’s event!

Nutty Red Head ©kim Smith 20014

Lisa Griffiths, also known as The Nutty Red Head, gets carded by Robin at the Cave–it makes her day!

Goddess Family ©Kim Smith 2014jpgThe Goddess Family ~ Franny, Tony, Samantha, and Baby Woody

Scott Memhard Lise Breen ©kim Smith 2014Scott Memhard with Hannah, Andrea, and Lise advocating for the “College Success Program in Gloucester.”

Fred and Valerie ©kim Smith 2014Fred and Valerie

 

New Film: Making the Special Saint Joseph Altar Bread

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.

Many thanks to Sefatia Romeo Thekan for the suggestion to contact Maria and family to interview for Gloucester’ Feast of  Saint Joseph film project.

For improved viewing experience, click off the Vimeo HD icon in the bottom right hand corner and the video will load much more quickly.

As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.

Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!

Saint Joseph Bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2014

See previous posts related to Caffe Sicilia:

Filming Continues on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project, Today at Caffe Sicilia

Caffe Sicilia’s St. Joseph Zeppole or, in Other Words, A Cloud of Sweetness Sent from the Heavens 

Sfinci di San Giuseppe

Sfinci di San Giuseppe Rounds off a Trio of Traditional Saint Joseph Treats from Maria Cracchiolo and Family at Caffe Sicilia

Sfinci Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2014Sfinci di San Giuseppe

For non-Sicilians, like myself, you may be wondering what exactly are Sfinci di San Giuseppe? The way Maria, Nina, and Domenic make them, Sfinci are amazing creamy puffs, fried to golden-brown perfection, and filled with Caffe Sicilia’s heavenly light and fluffy sweetened ricotta, or the same ricotta, with mini-chocolate chips added.

Inside the beautiful box of Zepplole that Maria sent me home with after filming, were two Sfinci’s made moments earlier, fillled with ricotta, and garnished with candied orange peel and cherry. I hope my husband and son never read this post because after eating the first Sfinci di San Giuseppe, it was so fabulously delicious that I never gave anyone else a chance to try one and ate the second (although managing to save them each a Zeppole)! Habit-forming!

Sfinci have been a part of Sicilian cuisine for centuries. Traditionally they were served for dessert on Saint Joseph’s Day. Today they are a specialty of Palermo and are served all year round. Both Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic Damico, were born outside of Palermo and spent their early childhoods there. I imagine that is one reason why the family knows how to create this sumptuously yummy treat!!! Sfinci is a wonderfully fun word to say and is pronounced something like this: sah-fin-chee, only you say the sah-fin syllables very quickly together.

Caffe Sicilia’s Sfinci di San Giuseppe are available, as are their Zeppole, through Easter. Because their Sfinci fly out the door as quickly as their Zeppole, place your orders for both ahead of time and call (978) 283-2345.

Filming Continues on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project, Today at Caffe Sicilia!

Caffe Sicilia’s St. Joseph Zeppole or, in Other Words, A Cloud of Sweetness Sent from the Heavens!

Caffe Sicilia’s St. Joseph Zeppole or, in Other Words, A Cloud of Sweetness Sent from the Heavens!

Maria Cracchiolo Zeppole ©Kim Smith 2014 copyFrom the first moment I sampled Maria and Nina’s Zeppole, I thought I had died and gone to food-lovers heaven! And I am not the only one in my family who felt the same. After spending the morning filming at Caffe Sicilia where Maria, Nina, and Domenic graciously demonstrated making the special Saint Joseph bread and Zeppole, they very sweetly sent me home with a treasure box full of freshly made Zeppole. My husband and son generally prefer savory to sweet, but now I see I will have to make frequent stops at Caffe Sicilia to pick up Zeppole during Saint Joseph’s feast time!

Maria Cracchiolo Zeppole pastry ©Kim Smith 2014 copyMaria’s Zeppole pastry is airy and tender and makes a perfect nest for one of three different fillings offered at Caffe Sicilia; a light and fluffy perfectly sweetened ricotta filling, the same ricotta filling, but with tiny chocolate chips added, and the third filling is yellow cream. Honestly, I have never been a tremendous yellow cream filling fan, but that is because I never had Maria’s yellow cream. Hers is neither gluey nor gloppy, but rather a pale buttery yellow sweet and smooth-textured filling of creamy yumminess. Not only were the fillings mouth watering delicious, she also sandwiches a very generous helping of beautiful Amarena cherries between the layers of pastry and filling. Amarena cherries are a favorite of my husband’s and I think that too may be another reason why he fell in love with Maria’s Zeppole.

RUN, don’t walk, to Caffe Sicilia to sample their Zeppole! Although a traditional Saint Joe desert, Maria makes the Zeppole through Easter time as many have given up sweets for Lent. Because the Zeppole fly out the door as quickly as they are made, having the opportunity to try the dessert is rather hit or miss. I strongly advise that you place your order for Zeppole ahead of time. The Zeppole are conveniently available in a large and a smaller size. Call (978) 283-2345 to place your orders.

End Note ~ Amarena cherries are made from a small, bitter dark colored cherry, the amara cherry, which is grown in the Modena and Bologna regions of Italy. Gennaro Fabbri from Bologna developed the Amarena combination of cherries with syrup and it is still a family-owned business that produces a variety of cherry based products, including syrups, beverages, and pastries. Amarena cherries are often used to decorate chocolate desserts.

I typically find Amarena cherries in the pretty blue and white Fabbri jars at William Sonoma, but after looking up the spelling for this post, they are also readily available online.

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Filming Continues on Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project, Today at Caffe Sicilia!

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia ©Kim Smith 2014Preparing and baking the special San Guiseppe bread is a family endeavor at Caffe Sicilia. Within an hour’s time, Maria, Nina, and Domenic created dozens of loaves of bread in religiously significant shapes of St. Joseph’s staff, angels, and even a carpenter’s saw, as well as beautiful and whimsical flowers, sun, snails, and bunches of grapes. While they artfully and deftly shaped and baked, they shared their St. Joseph’s stories for our camera. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina!

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Domenic ©Kim Smith 2014

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Domenic ©Kim Smith 2014 -3The Family began making the bread about four years ago, and word quickly spread. Maria credits Nina Groppo for spreading the good news.

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo©Kim Smith 2014.-2.

Caffe Sicilia’s San Giuseppe bread is available for sale on March 18th, as well as by special order. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also out-of-this-world delicious!

San Giuseppe Bread Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo©Kim Smith 2014.-1PGToday was a joyful day and I am immensely appreciative. Many, many thanks to Maria, Nina, and Domenic from the bottom of my heart for their kindness and help with Gloucester’s St. Joseph film project.

Saint Joseph Bread Caffe Sicilia © Kim Smith 2014 copyNote the Carpenter’s Saw in the background

Below are just some of the posts honoring last year’s participants. If you have not been contacted, please, we do not want to leave anyone out. Contact me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com if you would like your family’s story included in Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph film project. Thank you.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project Website Launch

John and Kathleen Scola

Maria and Niño Cannova

Nina and Frank Groppo Family

Frances and Ann Margaret Ferrante

Mary Russo Family

Marie and Carl Silva Family

Grace Brancaleone Family

 

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