By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s a Highlandtown market known for its fine Italian food and friendship, and now it’s celebrating 100 years in business.

Ron Matz reports that what started as a corner grocery store has become a Baltimore institution.

It’s another busy day in the kitchen at DiPasquale’s Italian Marketplace, from almonds to olives to their famous Italian cold cut sub.

Food lovers call this Highlandtown landmark home.

“I love coming in for a sausage and pepper sandwich. It’s huge and they make it on their fresh baked bread,” said Reina Lopez, customer.

Owner Joe DiPasquale makes it happen. It was all started by his grandfather, Luigi.

“It was started in 1914 by my grandfather Luigi, and we’ve kept it going all this time,” said Joe DiPasquale. “He actually did some huckstering. He took the truck to Dundalk and Essex and the surrounding areas, and my uncles and aunts kept it going.”

“My grandfather had a little corner store in the 3700-block Claremont Street. All his children were born upstairs and had the little store downstairs.”

That little store is now a giant in the food industry along the East Coast, marking a century in business.

“The neighborhood has changed. A lot of the people who helped us through all these years have moved out to Bel Air and Perry Hall, but their children come back and their grandchildren come back and they remember coming here when they were small,” Joe DiPasquale said.

It’s now home to the fourth generation of the family making the delicious food that draws hundreds of customers every day.

“I have so much to be proud of but so much to accomplish to keep it going and to keep it what it is. People have such expectations of DiPasquale, and I hope that I can fulfill them,” said Marcella DiPasquale, who works at DiPasquale’s.

This will be a yearlong celebration of food, friendship and family.

“Since it’s such a big milestone, we’re planning a whole year of different events and activities. We have some celebrities coming. Guy Fieri of the Food Network will be here. There will be food demos and book signings,” Joe DiPasquale said.

DiPasquale’s Italian Marketplace employs 30 people, and they’re open every day except Sunday.

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