As the weather cools down and the holiday season approaches, North End business owners are scrambling to get ready.
Kerri Cassidy, the owner of Mercato del Mare, a local fish market, said the weeks leading up to Christmas are the busiest time for her. Customers seeking to celebrate Christmas Eve with the Italian-American “Feast of the Seven Fishes” tradition come in frequently, she said. During this meal families enjoy seven different kinds of seafood, which is representative of the seven days Roman-Catholics believe it took God to create the Earth.
“We try to make the dishes that people’s grandmothers used to make,” said Cassidy.
Nicky Labonte, the manager of Polcari’s Coffee, said most customers come in at this time for baking ingredients. The shop has many fresh spices and herbs that Labonte said are hard to come by elsewhere.
Labonte said the Molasses Cookie and Pumpkin Pie flavored coffee beans are also popular now.
Kelly Murphy the owner of Bangs of Boston hair salon said she expects a busy season. She attributes this to customers wanting to look good in holiday photos and nagging mothers.
“A few days after Thanksgiving and a few days after Christmas all the guys come in,” she said. “And they all say their mothers told them to cut their hair.”
Carlos Parapa an employee of Monica’s Mercato, a meat shop, said the store sells a lot of soppressata at this time of year. This is an Italian dried salami sold for $8.50 per pound.
“Everyone comes in for that,” he said.
Joyce Lavecchia, an employee at Bova’s Bakery, said the holiday rush keeps things hopping. She said most customers come in for cannoli and struffala, two Italian pastries.
The shop also makes specialty cream puffs during the holidays that are stuffed with ricotta cheese. These are very popular, she said.
Casey Speros is an employee at Shake The Tree, a clothing and gift boutique. She said many customers have been coming in to shop for the stationary sets and Christmas ornaments. Next
Sandy Russo, the baker and owner of Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe, said she bakes for weeks straight during the holidays.
“I have to make sure we have tons of pies, cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream,” she said.
Russo said customers love her pecan and ice cream pies the best.
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