A Sad Farewell to Joe’s Dairy
After 60 years, Joe’s Dairy, a small South Village institution specializing in fresh mozzarella (plain, salted, and smoked) will close up their retail store. Community gossip, which is confirmed by Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, says the retail store will only be open through today and tomorrow. Joe’s Dairy was a Village Award winner in 2009, feted for “creating the best homemade mozzarella in New York City, produced fresh every day in its quintessential South Village store.” Reports that Joe’s will continue wholesale sales is a small balm to us here at Off the Grid, who will truly miss this village treasure.
We will certainly miss this small business, opened in 1953 (just around the corner from its current location on Sullivan and Houston Streets) by original owner Joe Aiello. Since 1977, this neighborhood institution has been owned by Anthony Campanelli. Anthony, who worked at the store part-time while in high school, purchased the store from Joe. The retail store sells Italian basics such as olives, stuffed peppers, dried pasta, olive oil, canned tomatoes, and thirty-two varieties of cheese. But the piles of boxes labeled whole milk mozzarella curd stacked throughout the store reveal Joe’s true success secret: creamy mozzarella—smoked, salted, or plain—made fresh everyday.
The staff at Joe’s Dairy includes Anthony’s brother Vincent, their father Frank and Uncle Nick, family friend Rose Marie Pianoforte who works the front counter, and the boys in the back who all pull the mutz, by hand, out of 185-degree water. Up until now, Joe’s has made and sold over 1,000 pounds of fresh mozzarella every day, to regulars who’ve been coming here since the days when it was owned by Joe Aiello, tour goers on the trail of the Village’s best food shops, and to a long list of New York City restaurants.
Our best wishes to Anthony and the Campanelli family. We hope for the continued success of your wholesale business.