Youngstown, OH Where it all began for the Mastroianni Family

Posted: September 8, 2012

Around 1913 my great-grandfather, Filippo Mastroianni immigrated from Italy to Youngstown, Ohio, in search of the American dream. From what my grandfather and great-aunt Rosina tell me, he worked in a mine for about five years. In 1918 right around the time World War I ended the mine let go many of the employees and without work he returned to Italy. Upon getting married there, he moved to Boston with my great-grandmother, and the rest is history! Although a lot has changed for the City; Youngstown still has a vibrant and proud Italian community. As of this summer Fabrizia is available in all three of the city’s State Agency liquor stores, and also a few Italian restaurants, including Niccolina’s, and Vernons Cafe in next-door Niles, OH. (both great places!)

I didn’t know that my families origins in America began in Youngstown until this past summer when I told great-uncle Tony that we were expanding to Ohio and he replied “my father lived in Youngstown”. As with all facts received from the old-timers, I double-check by posing the same question to another relative, if I get the same answer, we have a true story, haha. I had always assumed my great-grandfather came straight to Boston, but like the story of many Italians, he first spent time in the Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia’s mining fields.

Expanding to Youngstown is a great personal accomplishment in honor of my great-grandfather. From the stories I’ve heard he was indeed a hard-worker and entrepreneur, and I think he would be proud that in the same place where he started with nothing, his great-grandson is back, selling a product made by his own family. Thanks to the Youngstown State Agency liquor stores for being so helpful and supporting Fabrizia Limoncello!