- Our Story -
David LaMonica - LaMonica's Variety Store - ca. 1988
From Sicily, to Torrington's Migeon Avenue
The first of the LaMonica family to set foot in America was Angelo LaMonica who was born in Sicily. He arrived at Ellis Island in 1907 and immediately moved to the Midwest where, in order to earn a living, he worked slaughtering cattle. He met his wife Maria, who was also born in Sicily but they didn’t know each other until they met in America.
The couple later moved to Connecticut where they had several children, among them, David and John. In the 1930’s David and John owned and operated a wholesale fruit, produce and Italian products business in downtown Torrington. This required weekly trips to New York City to purchase products.
Then, the Great Flood of 1955 totally destroyed their business location which caused a move to their current location on Migeon Ave. After 40 years the long hours took their toll and they shifted gears. In 1976 they opened a variety store in the adjoining building. It included a small counter with 5 stools where customers could eat.
At first, the family owned and operated both a grocery store and in the adjoining building, a variety store. As the restaurant grew, the variety store part of the business was squeezed out because the space was needed for the restaurant to expand. Finally the grocery store was closed for the same reason and the restaurant expanded into that space as well.
In 1976 the catering and restaurant business that still exists today was born but they didn’t realize it at the time. David's oldest son worked at the grocery store and then at the variety store. He never wanted to be in the food business nor did he plan for it, or attend school for it. But, as it turned out, he and his two younger brothers were always “good with food”, and apparently the Good Lord knew what plans He had for the LaMonica family.
In 1979, one of the brothers was asked to be in two different wedding parties of friends. Each one asked if LaMonica’s would cater their bachelor parties. And, as insignificant as that sounds, it was the birth of the current catering business. The parties were very well received and several of the guests at those parties later requested LaMonica’s to cater events for them and it grew from there.
Now, more than 40 years later, many generations of those original families are still using LaMonica’s catering services for all sorts of functions such as weddings, wedding showers, bachelor parties, office holiday parties, baptisms, etc., and the restaurant continues to flourish as well, with its full lunch menu and repeated accolades for the area's best breakfast.