D’Avolio has opened up on Elmwood Avenue… again. After bouncing around the block from a small location a few doors down, to a larger spot in the back (Neighborhood Collective), the olive oil emporium has purchased a building across from The Co-op and has settled into a space that appears to be the perfect combination of both of its previous storefronts.
With frontage on Elmwood, and plenty of space to display its products, D’Avolio has found an incredible vantage point on the street.
While searching through the company’s website, looking for some additional history on the olive oil purveyor, I came across a note from owner Danny Gagliardo referencing his grandmother, Erma “Mama” D’Avolio, who was the inspiration behind the business.
The writing gives some insight into the formations of the business…
“Over 5 million Italians emigrated to American from Italy between 1820 and 1978. Each one came with a dream and each had stories to share. But there was one very special one, the one whose story I am most interested in sharing with you. It’s about a young woman who arrived at Ellis Island in May of 1935. She traveled across the Atlantic alone, carrying her young children, anxious to be reunited with her husband. She arrived in Niagara Falls and settled on Elmwood Avenue in the heart of Little Italy.
“She brought with her, many recipes from her home in Collarmelle, Provence of Aquila. Erma was an excellent chef and worked in the family’s restaurants until her death at age 96. Her sauces, homemade pastas, gnocchi and zucchini supreme made her famous with the locals. She shared her culinary acumen with neighbors, family, senators, congressmen, judges and yes, even notorious members of La Cosa Nostra. But this woman had a secret. It was found in every recipe. Of course she incorporated only the freshest ingredients but her secret was found in her olive oils. Only the finest were good enough. The love of course, added flavor as well. All who knew her, adored her.
“To family and extended family she was lovingly referred to as “Mama”. Today, her legend lives on in this establishment. Her name was Erma D’Allesandro D’Avolio.
“She was my grandmother.”
I’m happy to see that what started off on Elmwood Avenue has come full circle.
To learn more about D’Avolio, see this BRO article.
D’Avolio – Website
814 Elmwood Ave,
Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
Historic photo: D’Avolio website