Last week we had the pleasure of giving Vito Pagano a tour of the in-progress 7 West Broad. Mr. Pagano is the son of Angelo and Joanie Pagano who owned the Hopewell Village Market for nearly two decades. He had a lifetime of wonderful stories and memories to share!
“I remember this butcher case, isn’t it fantastic?”, Mr. Pagano told us as he ran over to the heavy, handcrafted wooden door. “We had beef quarters hanging here and Joe Doreo, my dad’s partner, was the butcher…I remember scraping [the butcher block] down at the end of each week.”
The Pagano family moved to Hopewell from Brooklyn in 1967. Angelo and Joanie along with Joe and Ginny Doreo, bought America’s Store at 7 West Broad and the Hopewell Village Market grocery and butcher came to be.
Mr. Pagano, now a local chiropractor in Pennington, reminisced happily about his family’s market and the town.
“We used to make 300 sandwiches a day,” Mr. Pagano beamed with pride. “All of the construction workers would come here and sit outside for their breaks. We all knew each other by name – we all knew each other’s families. We were also the first and only place in Hopewell for years to make bagels.”
He walked us through the old kitchen and reminisced about making bagels exactly where we stood nearly 40-years ago. “I would get up every day and make 100 dozen bagels to sell here and then would deliver to New Brunswick, Lambertville, all over.”
The Hopewell Village Market left a lasting impression on many of the people we speak with. Do you have any memories of the Hopewell Village Market? Did you have a favorite sandwich? How about those bagels?