Born in Montefalco, Italy, near Naples, Mrs. Minelli came to the United States with her family in 1926 at age 16. They lived in Michigan for a couple years before moving to Chicago.In 1931 Mrs. Minelli married her husband of 39 years, Phillip, also an Italian immigrant, with whom she had three sons. Mrs. Minelli lived with her family for many years on Taylor Street in the Little Italy neighborhood. She and her husband opened Minelli's at Western Avenue and Lexington Street. It was a small grocery/deli/tap room that specialized in Italian foods and beverages."My father handled the business end of things and she took care of the rest," said her son, Fred, who eventually began running the store with his two older brothers.In 1970 the family closed that store and opened Minelli Brothers Italian Specialty Foods & Liquors at 7780 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Niles. The current location is located at 7900 N Milwaukee Ave inside Oak Mill Mall. The store still carries the MaMa Minelli line of pastas and sauces, Italian beef and, of course, her homemade meatballs, all made from her recipes."She was a wonderful cook, but more importantly she was a very sweet lady," said another longtime customer, Jacquie Krubert. "She made me feel welcome and let me brag about my grandchildren."
Come and try our famous authentic Italian specialties.