401 W. High Street Bellefonte, PA 16823
By Serge Bielanko
One hundred years ago husband and wife team, Guy and Pauline Bonfatto, opened Bonfatatto's as a produce market to serve up fresh vegetables and other groceries to the folks of Bellefonte and her surrounding areas. Which sort of puts this Thursday's 100th Anniversary Celebration into perspective. Since that time so long ago, the business has survived, without break or fail, even as hordes of local establishments withered on the vine and disappeared without a trace.
These days it is known as Bonfatto's Italian Market and Corner Deli, a name as much an homage to it's original role in the town as anything. The business is owned and operated by the Bonfatto's grandson, David Letterman, and his wife Sherri, who have been running the place for the last 20 years. Last January they closed up shop at their longtime Zion Road location and took the hopeful leap back into the downtown Bellefonte scene by renovating and opening a very different Bonfatto's at 401 W. High Street. It was a bold move, daring and risky as anything in the restaurant world.
They haven't missed a beat since either.
Business is hoppin'.
Customers are thrilled.
And the imported olive oil and mortadella is as about good as it gets anywhere, paisan. Straight from the old country, all of it.
So there is great cause for celebration. For Bonfatto's to still be here in the 21st Century still serving up delicious handmade food and coffee to the local masses just a literal stone's throw from Letterman's grandparents' original market is nothing short of miraculous in the grand scheme of small business life.
100 years in Dog Years means you're basically 700 years old.
100 years in Restaurant Years means you're more or less like a million.
The Letterman's and their staff will throw a little Centurion Party then, this Thursday, August 15th, from 7am-7pm. That's the exact date the original Bonfatto's opened 100 years ago. To mark the occasion there will be about a hundred specials and giveaways happening including:
* Free small coffees
* Cake from The Cakery in Bellefonte
* Six foot Bonanza Sub
* 2-large Bonanza Subs for $19.19
* $1.00 ice cream cones
* Giveaway of 10-$10 E-cards (5 from Facebook site/ 5 from Instagram site)
* Giveaway of one $100 E-card (Facebook site)
* Giveaway of 100th anniversary reusable canvas shopping bags
In their newest location right by Talleyrand Park, the Letterman's have systematically set up literal shop within eyeshot of where David's grandparents lived back in the day. That's a consistent reminder to him and his family that everything these days, everything they accomplish from being the one and only purveyor of the best imported Italian delicacies in the area to whipping up perfect cappuccinos on their one-of-a-kind maker, it's all sort of in tribute to the opportunity that two first-generation Italian immigrants were given once upon a time. They seized that chance and ran with it. It's all just a beautiful reality, an American tale well-worth noting now more than ever, I'd say. You know, Bellefonte, like the rest of the United States, was largely built from the blood, sweat, and tears of so many immigrants just like the Bonfattos. And that right there makes this week's celebration all the more epic.
So from everyone here at Bellefonte.com, we raise a glass to Bonfatto's Italian Market & Corner Deli for 100 years of wonderful food, service, and community!!!
Here's to 100 more!
Bonfatto's Italian Market & Corner Cafe 100th Anniversary
401 W. Hight Street
Thursday, August 15th
If you head into the Wok and eat, you can get yourself a free BFT sticker courtesy of the fine folks at Bellefonte Wok and us here at Bellefonte.com
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