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Vince's Market - Atwater Village History

Vince's Market (3250 Silver Lake Blvd, Corner w/ Atwater Ave.) opened in June 1939. The store was purchased by Joseph Caravella and his wife Mabel and named it for their son Vince.

Joseph Caravella's mother and father came from Italy to the U.S. in 1887 with their first son. The next year, 1888 their second son, Joseph, was born. They remained in the U.S. for 2 years then returned to Italy were they had to more sons and two daughters. In 1898 the entire family returned to the U.S. and settled in Birmingham, Alabama, where the elder Caravella sold fruits and vegetables from an open truck then later opened a small market. In 1912 Joseph married Mabel Bowes and they had 4 children.

Their only son, Vince, came to California in 1937. While living with his married sister he attended South Gate High School the Los Angeles City College and worked at Cash's King and EF Smith Markets. Vince's Parents came to California in 1939. Joseph and Mabel purchased a market at the corner of Silver Lake Blvd and Atwater Avenue in 1939. Vince helped his parents run the store until he entered the Navy during World War II. Vince was in the Navy from 1942 to 1945. During this time the market was run by Joseph and Mabel, affectionately called "Big Daddy and Big Mama" by their family. When Vince was discharged from the Navy he again helped his parents run the market until their retirement in 1953.

What is now Vince's Market was originally three separate businesses, a beauty shop, a barber shop, and the market.  In 1946 the beauty shop and barber shop were moved across the street and the market was expanded.

When Joseph and Mabel retired Vince ran the market with the help of wife Millie and their son Joe. Joe helped out during his teen years then entered the Air Force in 1966. Jose returned to the market full time in 1970 after his term in the Air Force. Vince retired from the market in 1983 and his son Joe then ran the market until it was sold in 1986.

The market was founded on Old Fashion customer service. Offering choice meats and produce with a butcher on hand to cut steaks and roasts to order. The Vince's Market truck was a familiar sight in Atwater Village, making daily delivers to customers unable to get to the market. They just phoned in their orders and their groceries were promptly delivered. Credit was also offered as a service to customers. In later years the deli section was expanded to offer cold and hot specialty sandwiches daily. Party platters, BBQ Chicken and Turkey were also available upon request. In 1972 the famous Vince's .50 cents Ham & Cheese Sandwich was created. The same sandwich is still offered today at a price, while adjusted for inflation, is still a great bargain.

The tradition of a family run neighborhood market did not end with it's sale by the Caravella's. The tradition lives on with the Maggallon Family who purchased the market. They are long time residents of Atwater Village.