In 1951, Ben Laurenzo and his brother, Achilles, opened a shop offering Italian and specialty products such as cheeses, pasta, and canned tomatoes.
The brothers, both World War II veterans, saw the shop become a success, with famous Italians like Sophia Loren and Frank Sinatra paying their respects while visiting Miami.
Laurenzo's founder, Ben Laurenzo, worked in the shop daily. When he and his wife Millie had children, they worked there too. Eventually, his children, David, Carol, and Robert, took over the business. Ben Laurenzo passed away in January 2018 at the age of 89.
Now, after 69 years offering everything from imported olive oil to Zak the Baker bread and seasonal stone crabs, Laurenzo's Italian Market is closing. A sign, posted on the front door reads:
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To Our Valued Customers,
We would like to announce our retirement and the closing of Laurenzo's Italian Market effective July 31, 2019. Although we are excited to begin this new chapter in our lives, we will miss being a part of yours. For 69 years, our market has thrived due to the loyalty and support of our wonderful customers. Thank you for your patronage and your friendship. Wishing you good health and happiness in the years to come! Please continue to visit Laurenzo's Farmers Market for all your fresh produce needs.
David, Carol, and Robert Laurenzo
Laurenzo's Farmers Market will remain in business with, hopefully, some of the original market's items transferred for sale there.
There is some good news. You still have a few weeks left to roam the same isles that Sophia Loren did. Buy some pasta, a good olive oil, and choose a wine from the shops' selection of over 1,500 bottles. Go home, put on some Sinatra and toast to Ben Laurenzo and one of the last Miami institutions.
Laurenzo's Italian Market. 16385 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach; 305-945-6381; laurenzosmarket.com.