Longtime customers reflect on closure of D & D Market in Hartfor - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Longtime customers reflect on closure of D & D Market in Hartford

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D and D Italian Market is closing in Hartford (WFSB) D and D Italian Market is closing in Hartford (WFSB)

An Italian market in the south end of Hartford closed its doors after more than 80 years.  

D & D Market closed for good over the weekend. On Tuesday, Eyewitness News stopped by the neighborhood where people were still learning that their favorite corner store is no more.

In a statement, Dan D'Aprile, who runs the company said "after years of thought, I made the decision to close the doors to our Hartford store at 276 Franklin Avenue."

“I am grateful to you and thankful for Hartford's hospitality since our humble beginnings in 1932,” D'Aprile said.

“Real, authentic Italian, imported food, they were the first ones to have all that around here.” John Spezialie, who is the co-owner of the Allegro Café, said. 

“Italian sausage, you get it maybe ten different ways. You get it with broccoli rabe,” D & D Market customer Leonard LaPenta said. “You get it with chicken. You get it with anything you want."  

While the food brought joy to their faces, longtime customers said what they will miss most is simply stopping by the capital city staple on Franklin Avenue.

Frank Griffo said he stopped by the store for 35 years.

“I used to go there once a week, do my shopping, my cold cuts, my meats,” Griffo said.

Many customers told Eyewitness News that they were surprised to learn of the store’s closure. There were signs on the doors. The signs asked customers to come by their store in Wethersfield.   

"A landmark like that with all that history and tradition, to see leave Franklin Avenue, is pretty tough to see,” Sebastian, who is the co-owner of the South End Bakery, said.

While the family hasn't commented on the reason behind their decision, fellow business owners along Franklin Avenue said times have changed.

“The Italians that were here for whatever, 30-40 years on the avenue and now they've moved on to more Wethersfield-Rocky Hill area,” Ciarcia said. “The neighborhood has changed, but we still keep going."

That's exactly what devoted patrons plan to do by taking their business to Wethersfield.

“There's some place for me to go. I can still go someplace,” customer Leonard LaPenta said. “That's the good part."

“It's probably closer to home for me anyway, so it's going to be alright,” Griffo said.  

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