Di Bruno Brothers: Philadelphia’s Gourmet Grocer
Italian brothers Danny and Joe Di Bruno opened shop in Philadelphia’s 9th Street Italian Market in 1939, and their story is one of a small business finding a niche market to survive the age of megastores.
When supermarkets arrived on the scene in the 1960s and threatened the survival of small grocers, Danny and Joe rebranded their neighborhood store — which had always focused on fine Italian foods — into a “House of Cheese,” where customers could find the highest quality cheeses and cured meats, including “thousands of pounds of aged provolone.”
The store survived and thrived, and Danny and Joe kept running the business until 1990, when the next generation of Di Brunos — cousins Billy Jr., Emilio & Bill — took over.
The younger Di Brunos also recognized the need to adapt to changing times, and they put the store’s inventory online in 1998, at the beginning of the e-commerce explosion. They also expanded the business, opening new stores in Rittenhouse Square and the Comcast Center.
Today, Di Bruno Brothers remains a well-known source for quality cheese (they made our list of the Best US Cheesemongers). Their specialty is Italian artisan cheeses, but they also carry varieties from 25 countries, including France, Belgium, England, Ireland, and the US.
Their website is one of our favorite places to shop for gourmet gifts, and they sell gift baskets, chocolates, truffles, and pantry items in addition to cheeses.
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