Our History

The cornerstone of DeVitis & Sons was set by Italian immigrant Frank DeVitis, who came to the United States in the mid-1920s. A decade later, Frank was a partner in Mass Market Produce, a small operation with outlets in downtown Akron. In the early 1950s, he opened Frank's Fruits & Vegetables in a converted gas station on East Tallmadge Avenue. At that time Angelo DeVitis, Frank's oldest son, was 20 years old and joined his father in the family business.


The Original DeVitis & Sons, 1952bar_2

After three years in business, the family moved the store to an old building next to a corner gas station. Angelo remembers a few Italian items that they stocked at that time. "We began with basics like pasta, tomato paste and cheese," Angelo said. In 1960, they opened a new store at 560 East Tallmadge Avenue, and changed the name of the company to DeVitis & Sons Italian Food & Produce, Inc. "Frank's Fruits & Vegetables didn't give us an identity, so we opted for a unique title," Angelo said. As a result of the expansion, the business gradually developed into a full-scale Italian grocery store, complete with meat and produce departments and all varieties of Italian foods.

store2Following the death of Frank in 1966, the third generation of the DeVitis family became instrumental in the continuation of the business. The store remained DeVitis & Sons, but now it was Angelo and his twin sons, David and Robert, who kept alive the spirit of the business. The twins grew up working in the store, and were prepared to accept key roles in daily operations. "We started out working for 50 cents an hour, sweeping floors and taking care of soda pop bottles. We were about 13 when we started, and as we got older we began bagging groceries. Eventually, however, we learned enough to help Dad run the store and involve ourselves in decisions that would determine the future of the business," David said.

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The DeVitis Deli in the 1970's

Behind Angelo, Robert and David, DeVitis & Sons strengthened and further established its image as a community favorite. Siblings Laura DeVitis and Tony DeVits joined their brothers in 1978 and 1981, respectively, bringing new ideas and strategies to the worktable. With the addition of Robert's son Nicholas in 2005, the store embraced its fourth generation. Together, the family works to bring the people of Akron the finest quality products accompanied by superior customer service. teamToday, DeVitis Market is an Akron tradition. Using the same techniques and recipes of 40 years ago, the DeVitis family continues to create fresh Italian food. DeVitis & Sons remains a place where people receive friendly service from knowledgable, caring personnel. The DeVitis family is proud of all of its products, including homemade Italian sausage, a longtime customer favorite. "It is made the same way that Grandpa made it when he was a young man," Tony said. DeVitis carries three varieties of homemade sausage--regular, hot and Sicilian. According to Tony, DeVitis & Sons produces more than 32 tons of sausage each year. Among the great attractions at DeVitis & Sons is the daily lineup of hot, freshly prepared carry-out lunch entrees, soups and cold cut sandwiches. The rotating menu of homemade lunch specials invites hundreds of customers into the store during the lunch hour, the store's busiest time of the day. To meet the demands of the lunch crowd, DeVitis prepares more than 300 sandwiches daily. A variety of salads, including pasta, tortellini, bean and cole slaw, are put together each morning.



Although retired, Angelo still checks in on DeVitis to make sure everything is running smoothly.