Our Story

means “Beautiful”

Bella was Joyce’s grandmother, a small woman, barely 4’11”  tall, who read tea leaves during the Depression to help support the family.  But she also cooked!  In fact, she and husband William were hailed as the neighborhood’s best cooks. And they cooked up a storm.  Our Manicotti is as close to Bella’s as Joyce could make it, and we have found it to be one of our most popular items.  Their Pasta and Bean Soup (Pasta Fagiola) was famous on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.  (We have gone on to name it for a good friend who seems to enjoy it even more than most — Joe’s Pasta and Bean Soup.)

 I can still hear Grandma Bella calling out from the kitchen in her heavy voice to all of us at the dinner table, “Mangia! Mangia!”  It was the signal to put to my lips the best thing I had ever tasted — and eat!  As I got a bit older, I was permitted in the kitchen to learn from the master.  She always spoke especially loudly in her accented English when explaining a recipe — very important matters demand full attention!  I only hope I have done her recipes some justice here, and that our customers will enjoy this food as much as I do.”

— Joyce Shanks