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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

A. LOPRESTI AND SONS

A. LOPRESTI AND SONS

A. LOPRESTI AND SONS was founded in 1908 when Carl LoPresti began selling apples and oranges from a pushcart. The next stage was the acquisition of a horse-drawn cart. At this point, the firm's "warehouse" was the family garage, and there was also a retail outlet--a stand at the CENTRAL MARKET. The company first appears in a city directory in the early 1930s.

In 1960, due to construction of the Innerbelt, the company moved from its original location of 2460 East 14th, behind the family home, to 4780 Gladstone Road. That same year the company was distributing tons of fruits and vegetables a day to hotels, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other institutions. More than half the customers, which included the UNION CLUB, Saint Vincent Charity Hospital (see ST. VINCENT AND HEALTH CENTER), and UNIV. SCHOOL, had been buying from LoPresti's for more than twenty-five years. Dairy products, fresh meat, frozen foods, cleaning supplies, and paper products were later carried, in addition to produce, and LoPresti's became the largest family-owned business of its type in northeastern Ohio. Both Gus and Joe LoPresti, Carl's sons, were active in company management for more than sixty years. Gus died in 1994 and Joe passed away in 1995. Lawrence Piazza, former president and LoPresti cousin, was with the company for seventy-five years prior to his passing in 2000. In the 1980s, the company moved into a 180,000 square foot warehouse at 2735 East 40th Street. A. LoPresti and Sons closed in 2009 during the national economic recession.