Fruit was founded in 1933 by Michael Vacca. Its
first location was on Fleet Street in the
North End of Boston. Fleet Fruit began as
a pushcart business and grew into
a retail store where local customers and
eating establishments shopped. In
the 1950’s the business turned wholesale. Tony
and Louis Vacca, Michael’s sons eventually
took over the business in the early 1960’s.
In 1961 at age
22, Giosue “Joe” Rossetti
Sr. came to the United States to join his
uncle Michael and cousins Tony and Louis. Years
later he was joined by his brother Gerrardo “Gerry” Rossetti.
In 1982, after
Joe had spent years working 7
days a week, Tony Vacca offered him the
invited his brother Gerry to be his equal
partner, and together, they purchased
Fleet Fruit. Joe’s
son, Joseph Jr. came on board full time
as the company's floor manager. Joseph Jr.
knew the business well; he’d been
helping out part time since he was 11
years old, working on weekends and during
school vacations. 10 years later,
son, John, who had also worked in the
warehouse as a teenager, came on
board full time as a delivery driver.
In 1999 Joe
and Gerry moved the business to a warehouse
across the street from the New England
Produce Center in Chelsea, MA. The
move enabled Fleet Fruit to expand their
offerings. Not only could they offer
the freshest fruit and vegetables available,
but they now were able to offer dairy, grocery
items, gourmet cheeses and ethnic food products.
Over the years
Joe and Gerry developed long lasting relationships
with growers, local farmers and salesmen
in the Produce Market. These relationships
have resulted in preferential treatment
for quality and pricing.
In 2006, Joe
and Gerry retired from the business. Joe
Jr. and John now run Fleet Fruit's