All in the Italian famiglia

January 25, 2024

Two Sault Ste. Marie born and raised Italian cousins recently partnered to keep tradition, family ties and local downtown gem City Meat Market alive.

When the news first came out that City Meat Market was for sale, it got the wheels turning for Sault born and raised cousins Ernesto DiBerardino and Anthony Celli, who have always been very proud of their Italian heritage and culture.  In fact, Anthony Celli is the son of the late, well known and respected ‘Mr. Soccer’ himself Tony Celli, who was synonymous with local Italian heritage for many years serving as the president of the Marconi Club for at least 25 years.  Ernesto also grew up immersed in Italian culture, from food to soccer, to the Italian language spoken by family members. So, both are no strangers to Italian customs and culture.  

Ernesto, Anthony, Sonny.

Ernesto tells us that his cousin George DiBerardino is a big inspiration to him.  George is the current owner of Soo Video TV, which has been in business for 62 years, a business that was passed on to him by his father Mike DiBerardino.  Family tradition runs deep when it comes to business for the DiBerardino family. Ernesto himself has owned and operated several businesses for the last 18 years, from janitorial, car detailing, and property management. He is no stranger to running a business and saw the purchase of City Meat Market as being a great business to invest in.

So, Ernesto approached his cousin, the aforementioned Anthony Celli, who he shares other joint ventures with to see if he was game to invest in a well established, successful downtown gem like the City Meat Market. Along the way, they added Sonny Spina as an additional partner. Above all, in speaking to Ernesto, it is apparent that they all value family and great customer service and they hope to continue the customer service standards City Meat Market is known for and carry many of the great products they were also known for. But the trio also has some exciting plans down the road like a new website, some new food and menu items, and a concerted effort to reach people in different ways, especially the online market.  

All three owners see this venture as a way to keep Italian culture alive in the Sault and so they have been working hard to absorb as much training and information from former owner John Bruni who kindly has agreed to stay on for six months to show them some recipes, and tricks of the trade such as learning how to make their delicious bread, the the famous porketta spice blend and more!

Ernesto has many years experience with wholesale and is already working on expanding product offerings. Regulars will be happy to know that the very amiable, hard working and well respected Dakoda Smoke has agreed to stay on as part of the team and is on her way to become a certified butcher. And the trio has already added a certified lead butcher by the name of Matteo McLeod, who the ownership team is confident in to be the face of City Meat Market along with Dakoda. Matteo is bringing some new additions to their offerings while maintaining the integrity and quality that City Meat Market has been synonymous with.  

Matteo and Dakoda.

We, at Sault Business Matters, will do our best to keep our community apprised of what’s happening at City Meat Market and we hope the community will continue to support the business and appreciate the investment this trio has made in our downtown!

Follow their social media and ours to stay up to date.  We look forward to seeing what’s to come and in case you didn’t know, the store is now open on Saturdays again from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. and as of this week, their new and improved hours through the week are Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

For questions, contact them at 705-256-2271.