The Angiuli story begins in 1981, at the Pyatt Street Market in Youngstown. From there, Rita Angiuli opened a fruit and vegetable stand outdoors, under a shady oak tree. This is how Carl Angiuli lovingly describes to La Gazzetta how his parents began the family business. Only a few years previous, Mario and Rita Angiuli had immigrated to the Youngstown area from Bagnoli del Trigno in the Molise region. Thanks to the skills of the two new immigrants, fresh produce would eventually be available at roadside stands all over the Mahoning Valley.
The couple purchased a former grain farm in the 1980s. From those humble beginnings, the Angiuli name has become synonymous with local, quality produce. Vegetables that are the mainstay of any Italian American menu–such as zucchini, plum tomatoes, eggplant, swiss chard, and cubannelle peppers– sprout and ripen on the family's 300 acres in Mahoning County, where Mario and Rita continue in the business that includes participation by many in the family. In addition to Carl, four other sons, Rocco, Anthony, Mario, and Michael work for Angiuli’s. Carl’s wife, Melanie, and their two daughters, Gisella and Lena, round out the Angiuli team. Not only does the farm grow vegetables with an Italian heritage, the family’s fertile acreage yields sweet corn, peas, fruits, flowers, and herbs. According to Carl, "We raise everything from asparagus to zucchini."
The Angiulis serve customers at their retail store on Canfield-Columbiana Road and at satellite locations over a three-county area. You can also find Angiuli produce at farmers’ markets in Cleveland and Steubenville. Wholesalers in Columbus, Cleveland and Pittsburgh distribute the farm's inventory over a wide area, though wholesaling takes a back seat to retail trade. Supplies for canning also draw many customers to the store. "It's amazing how people will come from miles around to buy our vegetables so they can enjoy them off season," adds Carl.
In July of 2016, Angiuli's experienced an unforeseen loss when fire destroyed all the buildings at the farm's headquarters on Canfield-Columbiana Road, outside Canfield. “We lost 20,000 square feet of our structures. It was a disaster,” recalls Carl. The indoor market, storage area, produce store, machinery sheds, and much equipment all went up in flames. The family finished the season selling from a huge tent and will do so this year, as well. They anticipate having new building construction completed for the 2018 growing season.
In this era of corporate, anonymous agriculture with produce grown for long-distance shipment, rather than for taste, the Angiuli family enterprise continues the tradition of farm to table sales. What could be more Italian than this age-old way of enjoying food? Traditional ways also come into play at their farm, where the family observes sustainable farming practices. These include using cover crops, hot beds and composting. In all of this, it's not difficult to see the family's roots in "the old country." Luckily, for the entire Mahoning Valley, every growing season offers the area another Angiuli cornucopia of delicious and easily accessible fruits and vegetables.