If you’ve visited Hartford’s South End, you might be familiar with Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery on Franklin Avenue. It’s an “institution” in the city — a place that has been around for a long time, and that if you visit Hartford and don’t stop in, you’re crazy.
Mozzicato’s has pastries, cakes, pizza, bread, and lots more delicious food, plus a cafe where you can get espresso drinks.
“I had to do something, had to make a living,” said Gino Mozzicato, who came to Hartford from Sicily in 1968 and started the bakery five years later. “People like us became a well-known name. We cater to the customer, to the people. We’ve been friendly, helpful, respectable. That’s why we’re over here today.”
What used to be a mostly Italian neighborhood is now much more diverse. “Immigration change the people. Still the people still like the sweets,” Mozzicato said.
Al Marotta has been a South End resident since 1949. Today he’s the president of the South Hartford Merchants Association, and he’s pleased to see new generations of homeowners move in to the neighborhood. “I think in the past three years, there has been a great change,” he said, “It’s been a positive thing.”
At nearby Bulkeley High School, students speak 23 different languages. It has a program called City Slickers that brings together refugee, immigrant, and special needs students to a farm in Terryville, Connecticut to learn skills and connect with other students. We hear from some of them, and learn more about what it’s like for them to live in Hartford — including a Burmese refugee who is getting used to a new place, and experiencing snow for the first time.
Mozzicato Radius Extras:
The City Slickers program is helping Bulkeley High School immigrant and refugee students to learn skills and connect with others at a farm in Terryville, Connecticut. Learn more »
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Theme music: Tang Sauce, “Just Chillin remix”
Alphonse Marotta and Kamal family photos by Ryan Caron King