George Esposito — the third generation owner of the butcher shop on Court Street, G. Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store, yes, the shop with the big ceramic pig out front that is constantly in the city media for being a top shop for quality meat and handmade soppressata — has had a rough few months. When Hurricane Sandy hit, George’s home, sitting between the beach and the sound in Far Rockaway, was flooded.
“The wave came down the street like a tsumami,” George told me a while back. He ran into his finished basement to grab precious mementos before having to run up as the water poured into his home. He said the windows popped loudly as the water crashed in. The water filled the entire basement, then the main floor of the home, and started coming up the steps to the second floor. The house shook, George said. “It was scary,” he said. “I thought we might die.”
George and his family made it out OK. But they lost so much — photos from when the kids were little, family movies, Christmas decorations in the family for years, pictures of the Esposito’s parents, who have passed away — so much.
Dealing with FEMA and the city to help with the costs of replacing nearly everything has been a nightmare. George didn’t have flood insurance — he didn’t need it for his mortgage, as he wasn’t in Zone A.
The whole thing has left George pretty — well, it’s been a hard few months. So when you go in Esposito’s to get some of the best meat anywhere, hand-ground beef, fresh cut pork and lamb chops, or hand-pounded and filleted chicken breasts, or the rice balls or eggplant parmigiana or handmade pastas and pasta sauces, maybe you should give George a hug. Or a smile. Or say thanks, we’re glad you are here.
If you don’t know the whole story, you can read our feature here on Esposito’s, a meat shop started by George’s grandfather, an Italian immigrant, on Court Street in 1922.