MILWAUKEE, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- This time of year, a nice man with a grey beard who makes deliveries and brings people joy gets a lot of requests... and no-- we're not talking about Santa Claus.
We're talking about Michael Glorioso at Glorioso's Italian Market, a staple in Milwaukee since 1946, who recently shared his memories of holidays past with Spectrum News 1.
"Certainly it was the grocery store at the holidays. It was all the lights as a little kid, the smells of holiday and the things that were only once a year, and I just think the vibe-- people are always in a good mood, they're picking up good food to celebrate a special occasion of some type, so the feeling, the smells, the sounds-- we played wonderful old Italian Christmas music."
Busy all year long-- a testament to the hard work of the family and staff in this day-and-age of massive chain grocery stores-- the market at 1011 E. Brady Street transforms somewhat through November and December, offering various Italian specialties to customers from across Wisconsin (and those who make the yearly pilgrimage North from Illinois) who are preparing special meals through the holidays.
"It's crazy-- now that we have Appetito, our culinary center where we're doing holiday-themed cookie classes, canoli, cookies, in combination with the Italian market, all the things that are so special this time of year," Glorioso said. "We bring in all the Italian panettone, the holiday cakes and the pandoro, the torrones and all the specialty food products. We make Christmas sausage that's only available for 30 days-- it's a really busy, fun time. People who only see us once a year come back and it's like greeting old family and friends, but it's really a special time of year at Glorioso's and incredibly busy-- we can certainly handle the business. Call ahead and we'll get it ready for you."
Now, with Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, Glorioso's will turn its attention to its Christmas traditions, specifically its specialty Italian Christmas sausage.
"I think we'll make 6,000 pounds, six links to a pound, so 24,000 links of our Christmas sausage coming up in the first week of December," Glorioso said.
For Glorioso, it's just a little culinary joy to the world, and a way to keep family traditions alive and well.
"I think those are my favorite things and hope that people enjoy them as well."
For more on Glorioso's Italian Market, visit their website.