More than a Market

Specialty Block 1



So really you know it’s something that I miss. The area was run down but you know, you think about it now, having a diverse neighborhood where everybody’s American, but they’re proud of their ethnic background and people know that they can get foods that they want to try and there’s different smells of the foods. I miss that. —Louis Mario Izzo, grandson of founders of Izzo’s Market


Corey’s Market, a Lebanese-owned market on South Champlain Street, Burlington, sold basic items required by the American diet. Photo courtesy of University of Vermont Special Collections.

The immigrants who settled in Burlington and Winooski brought with them food traditions that sometimes required ingredients locally unavailable. Some market owners ordered specialty items from larger cities, but, for the most part, they carried typical American ingredients – bread, canned vegetables and fruits, dairy products, cereal, and other staples– to appeal to a broad customer base. Many families cultivated the vegetables important to their traditional recipes in large backyard gardens.

Photo: Mar Garra

Families also placed bulk orders with community members traveling to Boston, New York, or Montreal, or ordered by mail. At holiday time, markets often carried traditional foods such as stollen, a German fruit bread; tourtieres, a French Canadian meat pie; or calamari, an Italian delicacy, to mark the season.