A&S Pork Store has been a well-known fixture in the Massapequa community since they first opened their doors back in 1967. According to co-owner Sam Cataldo, most of their customers have become like family to them.
“It’s great. Most of our customers are like family to us. A lot of them will come to our house or we’ll go to theirs,” said Cataldo. “We have a family that we catered their wedding, and then we later catered the christening of that couple’s first child. And last week we had four generations of a family in our store all at once…a great-grandmother, a grandmother, a mother and her son, all customers of ours that came in. It was amazing.”
Located at 929 North Broadway, A&S Pork is an Italian specialty store. They have a variety of products imported directly from Italy, and Cataldo boasts that many of their items, such as the sausage, sauces, mozzarella cheese and more, are all homemade in-house.
“Not many people do that anymore. Many people aren’t allowed to do it, but we are because we always have,” he said. “All our meats are cut fresh daily, we stuff our own sausages, we make all our own salads and we have all kinds of imported cheeses from Italy. We even have a factory where we make our own ravioli.”
A&S also has a healthy catering business, from cold cut platters, three-and-six foot heroes, and gourmet meats and platters for just about any occasion you can name. In addition, the annual advent of summer—and the typical firing up of grills that goes along with it—always provided a noticeable uptick in business, Cataldo said.
“Summertime we have a very big grilling season, and we have a lot of barbecue items that a lot of other people don’t carry,” he said. “Other stores have similar stuff, but not the quality that we have.”
Originally opened by Cataldo’s father-in-law, Pasquale Giammarino, 48 years ago, A&S Pork Store sits upon the original location of the Maria Regina church. After the church moved to its current home in Seaford, Giammarino—a new immigrant from Italy at the time—came in and attempted to carve out a piece of the American Dream for himself and his family by opening his very own business.
Cataldo, a Massapequa resident, joined his father-in-law’s store in 1983, and currently runs the day-to-day operations. However, Giammarino still pops into the store just about every day to make sure things are running smoothly, but said that his store is in very good hands with his son-in-law.
“We’ve been here almost 50 years, and the business is good,” said Giammarino. “I know with Sam running things, everything is going to be alright. In Massapequa, we are still number one.”
“Pasquale still comes in the mornings for a couple of hours,” Cataldo said. “He comes in, puts us in check and then he goes home.”
About four months ago, A&S Pork expanded into the least surprising—but certainly most welcomed—direction that an Italian-themed business could go. They condensed their ravioli factory and converted the adjoining storefront into a small pizza parlor that has been getting rave reviews from the locals since it opened.
“My family and I went to Italy, and we were so impressed by the delicious authentic Italian pizza that we had there that, upon returning, I told my wife Emily that we had to try something like it,” Cataldo said. “It took about two years to get it going…I had no previous experience making pizza, but I trained under one of the best teachers around and became certified.”
Saverio’s Wood Fired Brick Oven Pizza makes use of a wood-burning oven imported directly from Italy, and the pizza that goes in and out of it is made using authentic ingredients that include Italian flour and tomatoes, as well as A&S Pork’s own homemade mozzarella. So far, Cataldo said, response has been very positive.
“It’s been fantastic since I opened it up,” he said. “We’ve gotten great write-ups, and the community is nothing but spectacular to us…they say the pizza is like nothing else they’ve ever had.”
As far as passing along A&S Pork Store to yet another generation of the family, Cataldo noted that his own son, Joe—one of four children—has been working at the store for a number of years. But while his son’s future aspirations may lie elsewhere, for the time being, Cataldo said that he enjoys keeping A&S in the family.
“Joe has been working with me for the last 10 years. It’s great to come to work, see your son and talk and hang out,” he said. “One day I’d love to be able to hand it over to him, and I think he wants to do other stuff, but it’ll always be here if he wants it.”