Save Oldest Italian-American Gift Shop (Est 1910)


The family has been in business for three generations since 1910, more than 110 years!
For the past two decades, the rising rents in New York City & Brooklyn have destroyed cash flow. Rents continue to increase for both the retail storefront and the wholesale storage. After Mrs Rossi became ill, she could no longer work with her husband in the store and her ability to help from home is limited.  More recently, Mr Rossi is now suffering from a health-related setback as the business struggles through the pandemic situation. COVID-19 has really hit hard. The family must move inventory out of expensive storage facilities and into a more affordable warehouse or distribution center closer to their home. An army of customers and friends are now helping to support and promote this effort to save a cultural treasure in Little Italy, New York. Please share this page or join the project team here on GoFundMe!

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION: The Rossi company includes a small retail storefront, a wholesale warehouse, and more recently new e-commerce activities with a digital experience for online & mobile customer interactions. The retail storefront is located in Little Italy, Lower Manhattan where the majority of customers shop. This special project is also organized as a birthday tribute for Ernesto & Margaret Rossi, owners of E.Rossi & Company.  The GoFundMe page is established on behalf of the volunteer team sending best wishes for their double birthday July 2020. Ernie will reach his milestone 70th birthday and they are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of their wedding this coming October.  

A UNIQUE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: Many customers have had lengthy relationships with the Rossi family. Some of the merchandise has been designed exclusively for E.Rossi & Company. Additionally, the family retains in storage a variety of items that are culturally significant within the Italian-American community and with organizations in Italy. Mr Rossi has been interviewed several times by major publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The family has also been the subject of books, documentary films, and museum exhibits. Last year the family was approached by the production office of a well-known filmmaker; however at this time, Mr Rossi has postponed collaborating on any new projects. He occasionally will agree to interviews with local authors, neighborhood bloggers, or YouTubers when he has informal opportunities to promote the business. For some of his favorite customers, he might pull out his guitar and strum a little love song or treat them to one of his favorite novelty tunes. He has even written a few of his own songs to share with local performers.

The company sells gift items, collectibles, decorations, holiday decor, religious statues, medallions & prayer cards, rosary beads, Christmas ornaments, Nativity sets & figurines, housewares, kitchen accessories, utensils, coffee-making supplies, pizza-making supplies, pasta-making supplies, souvenirs, novelties, charms, greetings cards & postcards, posters, wall hangings, tea towels/strofinacci, books & magazines, maps, tote bags & backpacks, festival supplies, flags & banners, music CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, hats/caps, and sports jerseys representing the most popular Italian soccer teams (football/calcio).

COMPANY HISTORY: The Rossi's unique store is Little Italy's oldest gift shop and has had a notable presence within the historical context of New York City. Grandfather Ernesto Rossi was an immigrant from Southern Italy, Campania, Metropolitan City of Naples. The area is very rich in culture & history. Naples is the birthplace of Maestro Enrico Caruso, the most popular opera tenor of his era. The Campania region represents the origin of Neapolitan music "Canzone Napoletana" and the beginning of "piedigrotta" song-writing festivals & competitions. These events have since evolved into the Sanremo Music Festival, the EuroVision singing contest, and even talent shows such as American Idol. All of these events are a tribute to the rich cultural traditions of music in Southern Italy & Napoli. Upon departing his homeland to emigrate to the US, Grandfather Rossi brought his passion for the music of his heritage. Once settled in New York City, he became a music publisher who also sold popular sheet music, piano rolls, and vinyl records. Additionally, he was a major supporter and promoter of the "Italian-American Songbook", later made famous by well-known singers such as Dean Martin, Louie Prima, Jerry Vale, Lou Monte, Jimmy Roselli, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mario Lanza, Sergio Franchi, Frankie Valli, Frankie Laine, Sophia Loren, Connie Francis, Dion DiMucci, Bobby Rydall, Frankie Avalon, and many others.


LEARN MORE: Visit the company on social media @erossiconyc:    



Documentary Film "Closing Time" 
Produced by Veronica Diaferia for Folkstreams

"‘O Sole Mio,’ an Ever More Distant Strain" 
Luigi Rossi Obituary in the New York Times
By Jake Mooney for #NYTimes

"The Passing of Luigi Rossi, Owner of E. Rossi & Co in Little Italy" 
Humanities & Social Sciences Online  Department of History
Michigan State University 
By J. Sciorra for Jerry Krase, Brooklyn College #CUNY

"Sustained by Saints and Song, This Little Italy Shopkeeper Hangs On"
Character Study article in the New York Times
By Corey Kilgannon for #NYTimes

"Little Italy Shopkeeper Pens Song for Ailing Wife" 
Human Interest article in the New York Daily News
By Heidi Evans, Staff Writer #NYDailyNews

"Storefronts Highlight Stories of Independent Shops and Their Proprietors"
Courtesy of James & Karla Murray
With photography by Yanis Careto and article written by Tobi Elkin for Hyperallergic

Check out this great video! 
Ernesto explains how E.Rossi & Company caters to Italian lifestyle ― church, football, food, and music.
The video is courtesy of Mike O'Toole, Ireland & UK.  
Kitchen Table Films, June 19, 2015.  
( ) 


Copyrights will be respected. All Rights Reserved.

CONTACT:  Volunteers will assist in responding to inquiries. Email can be sent to EROSSICOINC at gmail dot com. Or correspond on the company's website using the contact form Thank You, Grazie Mille, from Team Rossi, Numero Uno.
Amministratore Rossi (Official Admin for ERossi-Co)

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Amministratore Rossi 
New York, NY
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