For 40 years, Emily’s Pork Store (426 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn) has been serving Williamsburg some of the best homemade sandwiches, sausage, salami, cheese, among other traditional Italian gourmet products. Behind the counter, Jerry Aliperti, the owner, can be found juggling tasks — cutting meat, making sandwiches, stuffing sausages and chatting with customers.
The store was opened by Aliperti’s uncle, Frank, in 1974 and was named after his aunt, Emily. Aliperti started working for his uncle when he was 13 and took over the business in 1989. He says about 85 percent of his business is from regular customers.
“Just seeing people happy with my stuff and enjoying my food,” says Aliperti, 50. “It just gives you satisfaction like you are doing something good for the neighborhood.”
Tempting aroma of roasted peppers and sausages, both cured and fresh, fill the entire shop, drawing customers in. But what keeps the customers coming back is not just the great food, but also the hospitable owner who remembers every customer’s name.
“Jerry’s a great guy, social and personable,” says regular customer Francis Brancato. “You get that little extra special attention when you come in and you get to chitchat with Jerry and find out the local gossip.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 11, 2014