Friday, June 20, 2008

South Philadelphia Business Association meets Presto Printing

I retain all my copyrights. Text and Photos Copyright Maria Merlino 2008. Do not publish to any other site. Instead provide a link to this page:
SPBA meets Presto Printing

John Saverase and customer bride Tien Luee

John Saverase,Tien Luee, with groom, Greg Giuliano

South Philadelphia Business Association Executive Eddie Wright
with John Saverase

"Come in as a customer; leave as a friend. That's the motto of Presto Printing," Bok mathematics teacher Greg Giuliano informs me. "I've been friends with John for years. I get all my business and personal stationery here. Right now, my fiance and I are picking out wedding invitations." Mazel Tov!

Behind the counter looking for the perfect font, is owner John Saverase. He pops up and waves around a piece of paper. "I found it! You'll love the Edwardian Script."

Saverase, a wedding invitation expert, also dabbles in matchmaking.

"I get a lot of business people here. I go by the personality. That�s important. My customers trust my gut feelings." With an avuncular attitude toward nervous brides-to-be, Saverase engenders loyalty even among the third generation of his families.

"Many come back for christening, confirmation and graduation invitations." I notice one wall of his shop is covered with wedding, baby, and other themed snapshots. This is quite an honor, to have so many pictures, because mothers don't give away their children's photos to strangers.

He and wife Ceil have been married for 40 years. They have three children: John, Maria and Danny, and four grandchildren, Vanessa, Angelina, Santino and Francesca.

Soon after, I run into Saverase at The South Philadelphia Business Association dinner at The Waterfall Room. Executive Secretary Eddie Wright gives Saverase a big bear hug and looks me straight in the eye. "Maria, John goes above and beyond to help us. He prints all the certificates, invitations and more. He does it at no cost to us. He likes to give to us, so we may give to others."

Petal Pusher owner John Vacca knows his neighbor well. "He definitely is the most personable person on the block."

For a man whose trade goes back to Johannes Gutenberg�s press of 1436 and Ben Franklin's press of 1729, it's a relief to know the important dates will remain timeless with a Presto invitation.

Here is a video I shot of John Saverase discussing his wedding invitations.

Presto Printing
2509 S Broad Street
(215) 468-0111

Executive, Eddie Wright, Tailor to the Stars, Pat Scioli,
Presdent of SPBA Lou Lozzi and wife Reggie Lozzi

Here is a video I shot of Sister Paula, Eddie Wright and Pat Scioli

Maria Filippello and American Academy of the Sacred Arts
Founder, Sister Paula

A delicious Italian Rum Cake makes for a Happy Birthday.
Lou Lozzi and Reggie Lozzi

Vince DeFino Esq., President Lou Lozzi,
Treasurer Reggie Lozzi, Executive Eddie Wright

A Capella Doo Wop group, Street Corner 5
Hired by Reggie Lozzi and John Saverase

Read the Full Story Here

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nuts About You!!!!

I retain all my copyrights. Text and Photos Copyright Maria Merlino 2008. Do not publish to any other site. Instead provide a link to this page:
Nuts About You

Philadelphia reminds us of Brooklyn!” exclaims Ukrainian born Olga Tsisyk when I ask her why she and her husband Igor opened up their shop on Broad Street.

Igor and Olga, with Candy Cat

“We never knew about South Philly. Our friends moved down here from New York and we followed. Philadelphia is a beautiful city.” After selling their mini-mart in the Ukraine, the Tsisyks, arrived in the United States eight years ago. “We wanted to stay with the food business but didn’t want to open a hoagie shop because we don’t know anything about hoagies,” says Olga.” But a lot of people like to eat healthy and since there was no other competition we decided on specializing in the dried fruits and nuts”.

Happy customer Mary Masino with Igor and Olga

Walking in the store is like walking into a fine wine shop. Wooden shelves hold row after row of neatly package products from around the world. Brazil, Turkey, Poland and the good old U S of A are represented. The variety of nuts, seeds beans, and peas are staggering. You can get them salted, unsalted, raw, roasted, shelled, unshelled, chopped, glazed, and flavored with honey, chili, lemon, wasabi and jalapeno. There are filberts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans, squash seeds, watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, corn nuts, well, you get my drift, and whatever you want in a nut or seed is there. The dried fruit selection is equally as impressive with dried cherries, cranberries, peaches, apricots, cantaloupe, strawberries, apples, mango, papaya, bananas, dates and figs.

Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

Here is a video I shot of Olga giving a tour of the store:

Here is a video I shot of Candy Cat playing with a customer:

Olga and Candy

Here is another video I shot of Olga and her tour of the shop:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Angelo Bucci---Rock Star!

I retain all my copyrights. Text and Photos Copyright Maria Merlino 2008. Do not publish to any other site. Instead provide a link to this page:
Angelo Bucci

Check Out the YouTube video I shot of Angelo and his Granite

I don’t know who is drooling more, Apollo, an American Bulldog who is lying down on a Travertine floor, gnawing on a bully stick, or me, a first generation American, standing there caressing wall after wall of granite, marble, stone, slate, glass and tile. With names like Green Pearl, Paradiso, Baltic Brown, Blue Bahia and Santa Sicilia, I’ve just discovered my inner cavewoman at Angelo’s Tile and Marble Outlet on Oregon Avenue.

“Many people know me from my days on 22nd and Washington Avenue”, Angelo Bucci informs me. “I now have a new location with a new concept for the public. Half of my showroom is the marble, granite and limestone and the other half is the kitchen cabinets, hardwood flooring, and commercial and residential carpeting. This is a one stop shop.”

And what a shop! Instead of playing-card size pieces of granite as samples, Bucci has custom ordered big, water polished slabs as mockups. You really get to see the grain and color in these splendid shafts. If you like mosaics, there is an array of every color and arrangement you can gaze upon. I’ve seen glass tile used for projects on the how-to-do-it type TV shows but actually viewing this product in person takes your breath away and combined with steel tiles, the high tech quality is astounding. If you like the natural look, sample boards of pebble tiles and Ledgestone will make your head spin. And the stone balustrades he features are going to be the next big must have.

All the cabinets are exclusive to Bucci as he is the sole distributor in the area. “They are quality plywood, not particle board and my men assemble them here so that my clients save money”, he conveys. “And my tile installer, George Thomas has been with me for 14 years. His work speaks for itself. “

Finish reading the rest of the story here in my column Within Walking Distance Angelo Bucci

Angelo Bucci and his dog Apollo

Angelo and Debbie Bucci in their beautiful kitchen

Master brick layer, Emidio Bucci,Father of Angelo Bucci

The Women of Bucci

George Thomas showing off the Travertine floor he just installed.

Friends Forever!