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About Us

History of Fante's Kitchen Shop

What we do...

We specialize in the sale of kitchen utensils for both professional chefs and home cooks.

Our Philadelphia store includes a full selection of cookware, cutlery and many thousands more quality products. On this website, we narrow the focus to speacialized utensils, many of which are not readily available elsewhere.

We try to provide you with concise information about all our products, together with many guides and manuals.

We do our best to always provide good quality, good value and personal support even after the sale.

Who we are...

Fante's is a family owned and operated retail business, located in the heart of Philadelphia's historic Italian market since 1906.

Italian immigrants Luigi L. Fante, Sr. (born 24 Oct 1878 in Torricella) and his father Domenico Fante (born 23 Jul 1854 in Torricella), a stone mason, founded Fante's, and their entire extended family was devoted to the operation of the business.

Luigi led the business after his father's passing. He was known as a dutiful member of the community, and he was recognized for having fought hard for human rights for the underprivileged in the neighborhood.

When Luigi passed away, early in the life of the business, it was passed on to his wife and to their sons Dominic, Frank and Louis. Dominic also took on his father's role as a very active member of the community.

Together with their sisters Rose, Josephine and Theresa, and their spouses, they strived to keep their respected business prospering by constantly varying it to meet the changing demand for products and services. They made venetian blinds, installed entire kitchens, sold furnishings, imported china, crystal and other goods from Europe.

During the second World War, when goods for resale were hard to come by, they purchased distressed goods, repaired and resold them. During this time, the addition of a plethora of items for the kitchen made Fante's famous as a popular stop for these goods.

One of the family members, Jeanne Fantes, brought back expertise and tools from France, England and Australia that made Fante's the only place in the area, and probably in the entire country, where pastry chefs could readily obtain equipment for decorating cakes. Courses offered in the art of cake decorating to chefs and restaurateurs became very fashionable.

In the early 1960's, Fante's mail order catalog contained a wealth of hard to find goods and was successfully sought after by cooks throughout the country. Many articles were written about the unusual kitchen goods that could be found there, and Fante's became a virtual mecca for chefs and cooks from around the world.

In April 1981, the Fante family retired, and the baton was passed on to Mariella Giovannucci, then acting General Manager of the store. The families because acquainted in the mid 1960's, when the Giovannucci's emigrated from northern Italy to Philadelphia. Dominic Fantes, in his customary generous role, was instrumental in helping the new immigrants adjust to our new culture, and employed Mariella and her siblings for after-school work.

Under the guidance of the Giovannucci family, Fante's direction became even more focused on goods for the preparation and service of food.

A renowned Philadelphia tradition, Fante's is nationally acknowledged as one of the finest in the housewares industry. Over the years, Fante's continues to receive recognition from countless newspaper, magazine and web articles, as well as from food related programs on television and radio.

Famous chefs and cookbook writers make it a point to stop at the original Italian Market store when in Philadelphia, and you'll find Fante's listed as a resource in many of their books.

We are proud to serve our clients in the Philadelphia area and throughout the United States.

Our Staff...

Mariella, family members and staff welcome you to our store, where we are always happy to offer you our helpful knowledge and expertise.

Many of us have been with the company more than a quarter century, and a number of us have backgrounds in the field of foodservice.

Mariella, our President, and everyone's mother and sister, manages our staff of usually about two dozen people. Most live in our immediate neighborhood, work full-time and receive healthcare, vacation, and other benefits. Our hours of operation reflect the family nature of our business.

Although we, like all humans, are not perfect, we know that we couldn't do without you, so we always do our best to fix our mistakes, and to treat you with the respect that you and all of us rightly deserve. Really!

More Fante's History With Photos
Directions and Store Hours
The 9th Street Italian Market