We visited Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace in Port Jefferson Station. We learned a lot about what it takes to run a supermarket and what makes them special. Uncle Giuseppe's first opened in East Meadow in the 1980s and now there are five locations.
We met Tina Toyano and Christina Speranza, who took us on a tour. We were able learn about flowers they ship in from Hawaii like the bird of paradise and ginger. We visited the cheese counter and tasted the cheddar cheese, which was delicious. From there Tina brought us to the produce section, where we learned that mushrooms are fungi and that the store carries many different types of squash.
Uncle Giuseppe's has a large fish market where they sell clams, shrimp and many varieties of fish. Their lobsters are shipped in from Maine and we got to pick them up without getting pinched.
Next, we visited the bakery. They make all of the cakes and cookies fresh and we learned that the store uses about 150,000 eggs a year. From there, we visited the meat market and Tina let us shape our own meatballs and then smash them to make hamburgers.Their meatballs use a secret family recipe.
After the tour we were able to sit down with Tina and ask her some questions. We wanted to know if is there a real Giuseppe. Tina said, "Yes, Giuseppe is the Italian name for Joseph. The business was started with the uncle, nephew and friend."
How many people work in the store? She said, "The Port Jeff store has a team of 230 employees and there are 800 in all five locations."
She also told us: "Sunday is our busiest day. We have live music and it is a fun place to be."