Imma and Mario Caporaso established a humble continental deli in 1972 on St Bernards Rd, Rostrevor. With two young children Angela and John, they were committed to building a business based on friendly, personalised service and a range of quality produce. They have successfully traded on these core strengths for over 37 years, in a succession of six stores throughout the local area.
In the early days, the store simply stocked local and imported general grocery items such as cheeses, oils, smallgoods and coffees. As the business developed Imma and Mario expanded the range to include complementary items such as kitchenware and winemaking equipment.
Imma and Mario had their two little helpers Angela and John who practically grew up in the shop and worked on weekends. John rejoined the family business in 1998 with his wife Rose, following years of business experience with Bianco Construction, with a vision to build on the cultural empire established by his parents over 25 years.
John Caporaso captured the passion of the family and staff to empower the business to move to a larger, purpose built store down the road. From a no-frills, small corner store, emerged a gourmet food emporium. The new store Imma and Mario’s Mercato was opened at 625 Lower North East Rd in June 2005.
John very consciously maintained the core values of his parents, “People didn’t come to our shop for convenience, but the personal engagement and the emotional and sensory experience. It was critical that we did not compromise this with our expansion”. His priority when taking over the business was to “maintain the critical level of service, then worry where or how much money is coming in or going out”.
The expansion has resulted in an ability to stock up to 10 times more of each product type and diversify the range of services. John and the Mercato family have continued to be innovative in their approach to the business, developing new concepts such as in-store cooking classes, On The Go readymade restaurant quality meals and an on-site bakery. The store continues to secure national and local distribution rights for premium products and was licensed for liquor in March 2009.
Another proactive approach has been the development of Mercato On The Road, a wholesale arm of the business. Imma and Mario continue to be active in ensuring the freshness and quality is maintained to the level that their reputation was built on. With three children of their own, John and Rose could be building the foundations of an empire well beyond their current vision.
Open 7 days a week, visit Imma and Mario’s Mercato
at 625-627 Lower North East Rd, Campbelltown or go to
Visit the Bar Mercato website
An authentic Italian Bar experience; relax and unwind with an exceptional coffee, a glass of wine or a Spritz. Our selection of stuzzichini, panini, house made pastries and pizza will satisfy your appetite. Enjoy the Bar Mercato way of life!
Bar Mercato also features:
Rome’s most famous street food, Pizza al Taglio, cooked on rectangle trays sold by the slice. The dough is made using a traditional recipe from the mother yeast and left to leaven for 72 hours. This process produces a lighter, fluffier and very digestible dough ideal for pizza.
Un caffé e cornetto. Italian influenced pastries made fresh on site by a third generation Roman pastry chef, following traditional recipes with a modern flare.