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Paesano’s owner looking to create ‘Little Italy’ in South Cape

Furio to open six retail spaces near his market

May 26, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Special to THE BREEZE

Paesano's Italian Market is expanding from a thriving individual business into an entire Italian community.

Article Photos

Photo provided
The “Little Italy” units on Candia Street in Cape Coral.

With the purchase of an adjacent building located on Candia Street in downtown Cape Coral and adjacent to the market, the additional space offers Italian heritage trades the opportunity to create an Italian themed collection of businesses.

The expansion was announced this week by Jerry Furio, owner and creator of Paesano's. In addition to the market (built and started in 1986), Furio is opening six additional retail spaces for new businesses to fill.

"We're determined to build a successful community of businesses that promote the growth and retention of our Italian heritage," Furio said. "Since the 1800s ethnic groups have formed neighborhoods with a variety of small businesses to include restaurants, delis, shoe stores, fish markets. These communities also had many festivals bringing the whole neighborhood together." Furio continued, "We intend to host heritage festivals, and parades. It is a great opportunity for Paesano's to embellish the spirit of 'community' with these events."

In many cities, there are ethnic populations making neighborhoods that have become tourist and shopping destinations. These enclaves are often defined as "Little Italy," "Chinatown," "Yorkville" and "Little Havana." There are an estimated 26 million Italian Americans in the United States.

"Jerry's vision, as you will see, begins with the buildings he owns and developing Cape Coral's 'Little Italy,'" stated John Jacobsen, executive director of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Cape Coral.

Jacobsen went on to say, "He believes this will create an incentive for restaurants and other stores that are Italian themed to locate here and raise property values and attract more visitors to the area. Mr. Furio has a significant investment in the area and his store (Paesano's Italian Market) brings thousands of people to South Cape every week that would not come here otherwise." Cape Coral's Community Redevelopment Agency will assist qualified new businesses with grants towards rent for the first year.

"We are excited about what we have to offer and for you to catch a glimpse of what the Cape's Little Italy will become," said Furio.



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