Home » easton family business brings healthy food to the south shore

easton family business brings healthy food to the south shore

EASTON — In the lush green hills of Cerignola, Italy in the 1960s, Rosa Prezioso Galeno tended to her essential food pantry filled with fish cured in salt, flavorful beans hung to dry, flour, sugar, and yeast stored in pots.

Life was simpler in the countryside. The streets were tiny. The sunset over the hills with cotton candy-colored skies. The meticulous preparation of food was more appreciated and beauty could be found in churning cream into sweet butter.

Galeno, 62, fell in love with cooking as a child and she has turned that love into a successful family business, Rosa’s Food Shoppe on Eastman Street in Easton.

The Gourmet Italian market offers made-to-order dishes created right in front of you and imported Italian goods right at your fingertips. While there are no tables for dining-in, there are decorative art and bright novelty items to gaze at. 

Rosa Galeno, owner of Rosa's Food Shoppe in Easton, makes her signature meatball sandwich on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Galeno grew up on one of three dairy farms about 25 miles southeast of Foggia, Italy with her parents and four siblings.

The family farm sold milk to the locals. In her distant memory, she recalls if you didn’t make cheese, then there would be no cheese to eat.

The basic ingredients needed for cooking had their long processes and that made you appreciate eating more. 

Growing up on a farm was an unconventional way of life but there were so many rewarding aspects, she said.

Rosa Galeno, owner of Rosa's Food Shoppe in Easton, holds her award-winning vinegar peppers on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Her mother knew how to make something out of nothing. Her father would come home and bring whatever he could find, and then her mother would whip up something delicious.

“It was magical to live on a farm. It helped me enjoy eating more because I knew how hard it was to get this food,” Galeno said.

In 1966 the family relocated to East Boston. There was a thriving community of Italian immigrants in Boston, some of whom knew each other from Italy. The neighborhood was a melting pot of Italian immigrants willing to help one another, which kept the traditions alive, including family recipes, she said.

Award-winning brined local beets are sold at Rosa's Food Shoppe, 83 Eastman St. in Easton, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
Award-winning vino cotto is sold at  Rosa's Food Shoppe, 83 Eastman St. in Easton, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Those recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and Galeno continues that tradition with her three adult children. The food is deeply layered with an infusion of aromatics, different salts, bold spices and that staple of traditional Italian cooking, olive oil. 

Galeno is proud to say all the food sold in the shoppe is healthy, all-natural and made without preservatives.

A signature dish is the shoppe’s healing soup.

“When people feel compromised or just feel off, the healing soup is so beneficial to them. The healing soup makes you feel better,” Galeno said. 

Cooked with 18 vegetables, the gluten-free soup offers layers of natural vegetables with low sodium content. (See below for recipe.)

From left, Rosa Galeno, of Rosa's Food Shoppe, gets a hug from customer Agnesina Cimildoro, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Galeno is on a mission to provide healthy and sustainable food options that are rich in authentic Mediterranean style and not only taste good but are beneficial to your body, she said.

In addition, the shoppe has authentic goods that are shipped from Italy. The selection is extensive, from pasta sauce and oil to Sicilian oregano, potato gnocchi and award-winning fruit preserves.

Rosa and her husband and son, both named Peter Galeno, own The Fieldhouse Arean sports complex in the same building as her gourmet market. They thought a shop inside the sports complex would be perfect spot for athletes to get delicious, healthy food afterward.