Anthony Polcari started Polcari’s Coffee in 1932. The coffee shop was a dream of his since he came over from Italy at the age of twenty. Working as a pocket-maker at a local tailor’s shop, Mr. Polcari saved up to open his own coffee store on Salem St. in 1932. Polcari’s Coffee was a family owned business. Mr. Polcari’s wife Rose and children (Ralph, Anthony and Marie) all worked in the store, helping their father achieve his dream. Ralph soon took over the store from his father. Ralph did not have a son or daughter to work in the business with him. For a guy that didn’t have any children, Ralph created a family. Polcari’s Coffee was his family and livelihood.
(From Bobby’s Point of View)…
I met Ralph when my good friend, Anthony Bellia, knew Ralph Polcari needed a full-time employee at the store. During those twenty-six years I worked with some of the best people I’ve ever met: Louie, Pasquale, Attilio, Anthony, Angelo, and most importantly, Ralph Polcari. Ralph was a driving influence in my life. He taught me about business and life. He quickly became my mentor.
We discussed me taking over the business in 2005. Ralph and I worked together many years after this decision was made and when he passed away I assumed sole proprietorship of Polcari’s Coffee.
Polcari’s Coffee still stands on Salem St. The grocery store still has its old world flavor, which keeps us on North End tourist routes and stops. We provide fresh, rare spices to the chefs of the North End, as well as deli meats, candy, pasta, nuts, tea and of course, coffee. With a plethora of rare coffee including Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona, old favorites are still the most popular. Some old favorites are Mr. Polcari’s house blend (a mixture of dark and light roast) and the Italian roast (an espresso).
I consider myself a museum keeper, committed to running this business with Mr. Polcari, Ralph and the rest of their family, in mind. I feel so blessed to have known Ralph and carry on this business in his name. I’m also proud of Boston’s North End and of my Italian heritage.
So whenever you’re in Boston’s North End, please don’t hesitate to stop by Polcari’s Coffee. I’ll be sure you’re treated like family.
Owner, Polcari’s Coffee