Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store, a beloved butcher shop in Carroll Gardens, is closing after 100 years in the neighborhood.
The Court Street shop announced that their century-long run as a staple of the local community will come to an end on April 10.
“To our patrons, April 10th will be our last day. It’s tough to say goodbye after 100 years,” reads a long piece of paper next to the store’s door. “We thank you for your loyalty. Love, the Espositos.”
The shop, which first opened its door in 1922 on President Street, is now run by the third generation of Espositos — a family who brought the culinary lessons from their ancestral home of Italy to the streets of Kings County.
A combination of Brooklyn’s high rent prices, a decline in business for the shop, and the owners’ not wanting to force a new generation to take over has driven the end of an era for the family, and a devastating loss for the neighborhood.
But the Espositos’ legacy will remain in history.
In 2013, hundreds of Brooklynites flocked to Carroll Gardens for the annual Court Street Festival that boasted a seemingly endless supply of the neighborhood’s Italian staples. About 200 food vendors, merchants, and business owners lined the streets of the festival — but the Espositos’ sausages made it to the papers that day.
“No matter how good a place is, if you go to it and you are not treated properly, no matter how good the food is, no matter how good the restaurant is, the store, whatever it may be, I know I ain’t gonna go back,” said George Esposito. “So you gotta treat the customers with respect and love. That’s what makes it keep going for the first hundred. We will see about the second hundred.”
A 2015 short documentary by Brinda Adhikari, a Brooklyn filmmaker who has been a loyal customer of Esposito’s for 12 years, features the story of the neighborhood staple.
Third generation owners and brothers George and John Esposito filled the screen as they prepared meats and mozz, chatted up longtime customers and talked about family and the store’s nearly 100 year history.
“Carroll Gardens is simply unimaginable without Esposito’s,” reads a customer’s later hang on the window. “There’s the homemade soppressata, the meatballs, subs, the best fresh sausage and so much more. But best of all, John and George and the family. The day they learned my name I knew I’d come home. Plus, two words… ESCAROLE PIE.”