A Real family Tradition!
Maria and Antonio Ruggieri came to this country in 1911, with five children. Eventually they had a brood of thirteen - eight girls and five boys. Nine of those children survived to work in the market at one time or another.
The first Ruggieri's Market was opened in 1915 in a small store at 1801 Cranston Street. The 20' by 30' store specialized in Italian products, homemade Italian sausage, and produce. Antonio rose early each morning, took a trolley to the Produce Market, selected fresh vegetables for the day’s sales, and delivered the merchandise to Maria and their daughter, Mary, who ran the store during the day. Then it was off to the nearby rock quarry to earn a living. Within a few years, Ruggieri's Market entered the meat business. While their grocery and meat market flourished, they added home delivery as a courtesy to their ever-growing customer list.
The years passed quickly, and Antonio finally retired. His son, Gerard "Charlie" took over the store. Never quite satisfied with the small store on Cranston Street, in 1955 he purchased a piece of property at the corner of Atwood Avenue and Phenix Avenue, and built Ruggieri's Atwood Supermarket. The store was soon enlarged to 11,000 square feet to accommodate their customers and their exceptional meat department.
In September of 1958, Charlie passed away and his two brothers, Frank and Rocco, rented a 2,800 square foot store at 435 Atwood Avenue, which became Frank and Rocco's Ruggieri's Market. Their two sisters, Henrietta and Connie took care of the produce and the office work. Within five years, an addition of 1,800 square feet was added to the building they were still leasing; and in 1964, they purchased the whole plaza.
Through the years, the market was expanded and business kept growing. In 1975, Frank retired and Rocco’s children, Paulette, Peter, and Michael joined the family business. During this period, the store became Ruggieri’s Market, Inc.
Rocco retired in the late 1970’s and Ruggieri's Market has grown to 22,000 square feet. Renowned for their meats and produce, the store has been remodeled many times to keep up with the needs and wants of their loyal customers. Their most recent modernization was completed in 1996. A larger produce department was designed, scanners were added, and for the children, an animated figure named Jethro P. Hogg, whose home is atop the produce case, singing Country Western songs and talking to their shoppers.
Many things have changed, and Maria and Antonio wouldn’t recognize their dream; but to this day, Ruggieri's Market is still a family business with Paulette, Peter, and Michael at the helm. Known throughout for their honesty, courtesy, and generosity, the store has remained customer orientated and their meat department is one of the best in the state. The store continues to flourish in spite of the fact that there are four superstores within a two mile radius of Ruggieri's Market.