For Food and Family
Explore the history of The Alley on Main
We would have never opened The Alley if I hadn’t grown up in an alley. Our story begins in 1901 when my grandfather, Achille Vincienzo Salvatore Greco, (a.k.a. Pa) was chased out of Calabria, Italy by my great-grandfather after Pa dumped a wheel barrel of wet cement into the family garden. Pa, as my aunts like to say, “wasn’t no dummy.”
Pa hopped the first boat to America and kept running until he settled in a small steel town alley in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Pa married my grandmother, Liz Costa, and together they had nine (9) daughters and two (2) sons.
The alley was a special place filled with grapevines and fruit trees, and where the sentiment “cooked for an army” was commonplace and true. Years later, as work took many away from the alley, my mother remained there.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are the times when the rest of the family made a special trip to visit the alley.
During those times, the alley would come alive again. Ma’s kitchen heated up once more like a blast furnace, before transforming into an olfactory heaven of pork chops, salads, italian herbs and bubbling tomato sauce. As platters of gnocchi, ravioli and rigatoni were tossed around like frisbees, we laughed and yelled above the A.M. radio tunes. After dinner, cigarette smoke rose into cumulus clouds and Ma plated coffee and biscotti.