Goodbye, Good Food: Classic Italian grocery to close, bank to open

Goodbye, Good Food: Classic Italian grocery to close, bank to open
Community Newspaper Group / Natalie Musumeci

Say ciao to the fresh mozzarella, veal cutlets, and homemade roast beef.

Good Food, a beloved, no-frills Carroll Gardens superette that served the brownstone enclave for more than 80 years will soon shutter, marking the latest old-fashioned food store to succumb to the borough’s rapidly changing culinary landscape.

On April 30, brothers Mike and Allegrino Sale will close up shop for the last time at their Court Street grocery, making room for a bank that will take over the space they bought in 1979.

“I never had it in my mind that I was going to sell the store,” said 59-year-old Allegrino in a thick Italian accent as he sat beside the specialty supermarket’s sparse shelves. “We got this offer from the bank and we took it because this is like a pension for us.”

Investors Bank, which approached the brothers a year ago in hopes of buying them out, will open a branch in the storefront that occupies the two adjoining buildings owned by the brothers as early as September, said Allegrino.

And longtime shoppers are crushed to see the Italian grocery close.

“It’s very sad,” said an emotional Michelle Perlstein of Fourth Place, who has shopped at the store for the last 30 years. “It’s going to be very missed — they have the best meat you can get.”

The Sales will retire with the undisclosed sum made from the deal, but time away from the counter won’t be easy for the brothers, who hawked fresh cuts of meat and Italian delicacies seven days a week, from 8 am to 7:30 pm.

End of an era: Allegrino Sale — who has run Carroll Gardens’ longstanding Italian superette, Good Food, with his brother Mike for the last 34 years — is finally closing closing up shop for good.
Community Newspaper Group / Natalie Musumeci

“It didn’t dawn on me that there’s going to be one day that I’m going to get up and I’m not going to come in the store,” said Allegrino.

“I still can’t believe it,” 55-year-old Mike chimed in.

When the Sales, who immigrated from Mola di Bari as teenagers, took over the supermarket, they left the original name but added Italian favorites including homemade mozzarella, Nutella, imported pastas, dry sausage, and Prosciutto di Parma. They even made their own sausage daily using the same 60-year-old meat grinder favored by the original owners, the Bruno brothers — and they plan to return that contraption to the Bruno family as a keepsake, along with the old butcher block, said Allegrino.

It’s the joint’s homey atmosphere, decent prices, and, well, good food, that kept loyal patrons coming back all these years, despite the debut of Gourmet Fresh just two doors down and the arrival of megastores including Fairway and Pathmark not far away, Allegrino said.

“This was like a family store,” he said, adding that he and Mike always cut customers deals if they were shortchanged and made deliveries mostly to the elderly, who make up a large portion of their customer-base, even when the order was a single eggplant or one carton of milk.

The Sales said they wish they could keep the store open, but their sons opted against taking over the family business.

“Everything comes to end,” a teary-eyed Allegrino said.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

Saying goodbye: Brothers Allegrino and Mike Sale, who have ran the beloved Good Food supermarket in Carroll Gardens for the last 34 years, will hang up their aprons at the end of the month for the very last time.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini