Angelo Grasso is a self-made businessman in Shepparton, currently operating the successful Cellar 47 restaurant. His early days were full of alarums and excursions. Angelo had the first coffee machine in Shepparton.
Angelo was born in Maselly Sicily, on the 29th of August 1964. From the age of seven he worked part time in a café. He left school at the age of twelve to immigrate to Australia with his family who were hoping for a better life.
Angelo came across on the Galileo Galilei, a trip that took 29 days, eventually landing them in Sydney. From there they moved to Stanthorpe. When Angelo arrived he couldn't speak a word of English, hated Australia and wanted to go home to Italy.
He went to school in Stanthorpe, but was expelled after only six months; he found that he was blamed for many different things because he was an easy target. At the age of thirteen Angelo started work as a fruit packer.
He moved to Ingham where he went to school for six months at Cannosa home. During his time there he fell off the monkey bars and knocked himself out, after which he spent seven days in a coma. The following year he attended collage for six months. After collage he started full time work cutting sugar cane. At the age of fourteen Angelo brought himself a pink Zephyr and drove to Shepparton. He found himself constantly driving back and forth between Shepparton and Queensland so he could work in both locations until 1970 when he brought a farm out at Ardmona, but unfortunately it didn't work out.
In 1969 he received his first license and purchased a Valiant Pacer. In 1973 he started the first pizzeria in Shepparton with Tony Alampi named La Taverna. La Taverna was also the first business in Shepparton with a coffee machine. Eighteen months later he opened 8-ball pizza. In 1977 Angelo sold his partnership with Tony Alampi and purchased Cellar 47, which was the first fully licensed restaurant in Shepparton.
In 1980 he met his wife Franca. Angelo and Franca have three children, Bianca born in 1982, Adriana born in 1985 and John who was born in 1987. In 1996 he relocated the restaurant to high street in Shepparton. Over the years Cellar 47 has catered to many different charity functions from various groups including, The Bridge, Hospice, Make a Wish Foundation, Leukemia Foundation and others. They have also served many celebrities including Kieran Perkins.
In 2004 Cellar 47 was renovated to hold 281 people, and now has more than twenty-five people on staff. Since coming to Australia Angelo has never returned to Italy.
Over time the family he had in Italy began to pass away, ending with his grandfather, even so Angelo would one day like to return to Italy.
Source: Suitcase Full of Dreams (Reproduced with permission)
Cellar 47 took out the 2016 White King - mPental - 3SR FM Business awards for 2016. Cellar 47 was announced as an inductee for the Business Awards Hall of Fame.
Cellar 47 Co-owners Franca and Angelo Grasso became the 2016 White King - Penatal - 3SR FM Business Awards Hall of Fame inductees during the awards gala dinner on evening of 21 October 2016, as the 432 strong guests celebrated their award.
A Trip Down Memory Lane by Shepparton News