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Meet Frank Pellegrini of Professor’s Market in the North Shore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Frank Pellegrini.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in the food business at Farmland in Wakefield MA.

Farmland is my families’ business that has been an institution in the area since 1978. Growing up in the business from a very young age I learned many valuable lessons about business and also in life. Being the youngest in the family I always had to listen to how easy I had it and how I never really contributed to the business no matter how hard I would try.

Professor was a nickname my father and brother would call me because I am very detailed. One day I was very upset and I said to myself if you keep calling me that I will go open my own place and call it that. When I told my father he didn’t believe me at first but I wanted to go and do my own thing because in a family business, in my opinion, unless you were the one that started it, it never really feels like your own.

In 2016 I opened my version of a scratch deli and aptly named it Professor’s Market. I wanted to make almost everything in house so we made an open kitchen and I wanted to be able to control all ingredients coming in and products going out, The 1st year was extremely difficult but the store grew and this year has been much better. In my opinion, people come into the store and like it before they even try the food. We are blessed with an incredible staff and the store looks great with its brick walls and wood floors. The good food is the icing on the cake.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it has not been smooth. Some struggles are finding the best staff people and also just getting people to come to the store the first time. After we get them in we are confident they will have a good experience. Our location doesn’t help we have nestled away in the corner of a brick building and don’t stand out, but slowly people are realizing we have parking on the side so that makes a big difference.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Professor’s Market is a deli that emphasizes house made food. We proudly cook almost everything ourselves and we specialize in pre-made meals and sandwiches especially. We are slowly getting known for our catering and prepared meals.

We are most proud of the fact that we have such loyal customers and great reviews after only 1 year. We know many clients by name and are always happy when they call us and need something done in a pinch. I believe our customer service sets us apart and also the environment of the store is pretty cool.

What were you like growing up?
I was very shy. Very insecure now that I think about it. Inside I was very jealous of the smart and or popular kids in school. I pretended that I didn’t care about anything when deep down I did. I never really fit into any of the groups in high school. I just never felt like pretending to be anything I am not just to have “friends.” I was too lazy to study books which I now regret. You could say I was kind of wild growing up. I never took anything seriously.

I was interested in playing hockey and not much else. I would play 3-4x per week and that would carry on all throughout my 20’s. I still play 1 or 2 nights per week now.

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