Wednesday, April 22, 2015 3:00 am
Originally appeared on itemlive.com
Antonia Steriti’s passion for fresh food was born in her grandfather’s garden, helping him sow 200 tomato plants, in her childhood kitchen, creating homemade gnocchi and cavatelli with her mother, aunts and sister, and around the table with her large Italian family enjoying their weekly pasta dinners.
“When I was in high school the only class I liked was cooking,” says Steriti. She learned the basics in home economics class and honed her skills at home alongside her mother.
After high school Steriti attended Essex Agricultural School and subsequently worked at Cricket’s and Lilly’s in Boston while taking business classes at Salem State University. She then worked for caterer Ruth Slater, who led a successful women-run catering business with her three daughters.
Inspired by Ruth’s great energy and creativity, Antonia found a business partner and opened Periwinkles in Lynn in 1987. For the past 28 years, her dad, who is now 80, has been involved in the business, lending a hand when needed in everything from making eggplant and sauce to important business decisions.
Fresh, seasonal, simple and reasonably priced were the main ingredients for Periwinkles and continue to be the winning recipe for success at the Salem location that opened in 1996. After the Salem location opened, the Lynn store closed. Antonia delights in seeing her loyal and treasured retail and catering customers enjoy the homemade and fresh foods prepared at Periwinkles Food Shoppe.
“If I had to pick one ingredient that embodies my recipe for cooking success, I would select simplicity.
“Rather than smothering vegetables with butter and herbs, I would prefer to steam them and enjoy their natural flavor,” says Steriti. “A cherished memory I have from my childhood is the sweet sensation of eating a fresh slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. I love the taste of enjoying a simple flavor that organically sprouts from its natural origin,” says Steriti. She infuses her affinity for simplicity and freshness in both the retail and catering sides of Periwinkles.
“We prepare our food daily, offering hearty soups, fresh salads and abundant sandwiches on our delicious daily baked bread. Our oversized portions, reasonable prices and pleasant atmosphere will be pleasing to your taste buds!” says Steriti. Visit periwinlesinc.com to learn more.