ITALIAN culture is stamped on Fremantle thanks to pioneers like Antonino Noto, who set up his first continental deli with wife Carmela in 1971.
Mr Noto, known as Nino and Tony, died aged 88 on January 28.
Mr and Mrs Noto who ran fruit and veggie shops for almost 45 years, started on the corner of Lefroy and Hampton Roads until they purchased the existing shop, — now called Calogero’s — on South Terrace in the mid-70s.
Mr Noto sold the shop in 2015, when he was just shy of his 85th birthday.
Son Carlo, who is now a part owner says his father’s death marks the “end of an era”.
The picture of Fremantle described by Mr Noto’s sons is almost unrecognisable: four young “ratbag” boys causing havoc in their parent’s deli, kittens and dogs running around the shop, and walking home from school with the smell of fresh biscuits from the local factory wafting through the air.
“While we were at school, Mum and Dad worked together in the store. At times, during market days Dad would leave home at 3.30am and not come back until 9.00pm,” son Sergio said in his father’s eulogy.
Friends say Mr Noto never recovered fully from the shock of his wife’s sudden death a couple of years ago while the pair were on a holiday back to their home town.
by ALICE ANGELONI