Our History

Simply Italian since 1966!

The story is simple.  A family leaves poverty-stricken Sicily post-World War II in the hopes of finding the American Dream.  What they find is a foreign land, a foreign language and a foreign culture.  Two young boys, their mother and one sister embrace this new world and to it, they offer a bit of themselves, their culture and their food.  This is the story of Sorrento, a specialty Italian deli and authentic old-world butcher shop begun nearly four decades ago in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

As local newspapers in Connecticut have written, Sorrento is an original.  Many may think they have invented the Italian gourmet store, but Sorrento is the originator and has mastered the art.  Legions of loyal Sorrento patrons agree.  Over the past 53 years, Sorrento has become a historical anchor in what was once a predominately Italian-American enclave, providing Italian specialty foods to three generations of a Connecticut community.

Walking into this local community deli, one could be walking into a 1960s Sicilian maccelleria (butcher shop).  Prosciutto and drying wheels of provolone hanging from the ceiling are framed by stacked cases of imported oils and vinegar.  Mortadella and soppressata sliced to order.  Fresh sausage ground to order.  The smell of freshly grated locatelli cheese, marinating olives, dried meats, bubbling tomato sauce, homemade sausage and peppers and stuffed fresh porketta greets you like a close friend’s handshake and invites you in like a neighbor.  It is the smell of quality, tradition and talent.  If you close your eyes you can taste the Sicilian grandmother’s touch and the Mediterranean sunshine.

The owners of this novelty store, Giuseppe and Gaetano Milazzo, hail from a small village in eastern Sicily, immigrating to the United States in the late 1950s and bringing with them their amazing culture.  Like everyday since Giuseppe and Gaetano were teenagers, they are up at 5am and at work before 6.  They opened the doors of this historic Italian market in 1966, neither yet 22 years old.  Since then, seven days a week, the brothers in their food-stained apron uniforms still greet the very regular clientele, in their native Italian as well as English.  The business has been family-run since its opening.

Over the years, as the community has grown and changed and loyal patrons have moved, the demand for Sorrento products and services has also grown.  People call from around the country requesting the famous porketta, sausage, cheese and other freshly mastered delicacies.

The porketta is an original recipe, quality fresh pork, marinated in fresh herbs and spices, stuffed with aged prosciutto.  Cooked, it is a twist to your Sunday roast, the quick answer to dinner on a hectic Wednesday night or the simple solution for last-minute company.  The leftovers are perfect for tomorrow’s quick flavorful sandwich.

The chicken pinwheels, seasoned to perfection, have become a staple to many people’s weekly menu.  This meal deceives.  Its attractive presentation will keep your family and guests wondering how you prepared them.  Little do they know you merely turned on the oven!

The secret to these specialty products has not changed in over five decades of Sorrento’s operation:  quality fresh ingredients and consistency.

Many come from near and far to sample this porketta and chicken and Sorrento’s offers it to you.  With every bite, you taste century-old Italian traditions, a bit of the Sicilian sun, a bit of the Italian lifestyle.  From the Milazzo family to your’s, they offer their history, their heritage and their American dream.  It’s authentic and simple.  It’s simply Italian!

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