The original Gaudino’s Italian Market opened in the early 1940’s on the corner of Mack and Drexel in Detroit by founder Peter Gaudino (aka Mr. Pete or “Poppy”). Mr. Pete came to Michigan from the town of Marsala, Italy in 1920 and opened the small corner market specializing in Italian food and products. Peter had two children, Dominic and Mary. Both children worked in the store at a young age. Dominic went on to college and left the business but Mary continued to work at the market. In 1949 Mary married Jack Genovesi and the operations of the business were taken over by them. In 1971 Jack and Mary commissioned the construction of the building located at 27919 Harper and relocated the market to St. Clair Shores. Jack and Mary had three children, John, Sandy, and JoMarie. John worked in the business at a young age and after graduating from Western Michigan joined his parents in the operations. Sandy worked in the family business at a young age as well. In 1979, Sandy married Sal Rubino, and he also joined in operating the business. From 1971 to 1988, Gaudino’s Italian Market was known as one of the premier Italian specialty markets on the east side and was famous for their Italian sausage sold as Regular, Cheese & Wine, Hot, and Sicilian Style.
JoMarie, Jack and Mary’s youngest daughter, worked at the store as well and there she met Thomas Amato, a resident of St. Clair Shores. Both JoMarie and Thomas worked at Gaudino’s on weekends and summers while they attended college. As fate would have it they were married seven years after they met.
In 1988, Jack Genovesi decided to retire and the building was sold to another provider of Italian food. After many years the subsequent owners ceased operations and the building sat vacant for nearly five years.
In October of 2015, Thomas and JoMarie purchased the building at 27919 Harper and began an intensive restoration project, originally just to clean up the building and property for general purpose use. However, as time went on, JoMarie quickly turned her attention to the idea of re-launching Gaudino’s, re-engineered as a modern Italian themed market-eatery. They pulled together an incredible and dedicated operating team led by Chef Peter Maniaci (General Manager), Chef Joe Beato (Executive Chef), and Nichole Homfeld (Manager), all who have lineage to either the original market or their extended families. They are very excited to bring this destination project to the City of St. Clair Shores, on the original site, to serve residents and visitors.
La vita di breve mangiare bene
(Life’s short, eat well)