"There's only one stop sign and only one building. Blink, and you'll miss it," Mike Vitale stated as he described the neighborhood surrounding his building and business in downtown Glendale.
"I'm very fortunate to live where I work, and not many people can say that," stated the 55-year-old owner of Vitale's Deli, located at 425 N. Sappington Road. "I lived on The Hill for 41 years before moving here, so I feel like I come from the best two neighborhoods in Missouri."
Before opening Vitale's Deli, Mike had a lifetime of experience working in his parents' bakery on The Hill. "My mom and dad opened Vitale's Bakery on The Hill in 1977. They were one of five bakeries in 52 square blocks. Every bakery family helped each other out. If one family member got sick, one of the other families would send an employee over to help. That's how I was raised. My wife and I believe in community and helping other businesses."
As the owner of the only business building in Glendale, Mike has created a space to help other small businesses introduce their products to the community. "There is space behind this building for three vendor booths, complete with electricity. My wife and I donate the booths to small business owners for the day. We want to help them to sell their products because we know how hard it is to start a business," said Mike. Vendors sell everything from coffee to snow cones to candles to honey. "I encourage anyone selling a product to come and talk to me. If you prosper, I prosper."
The neighborhood outdoor market includes tables and dog-friendly seating. "This neighborhood is filled with early morning runners, people walking their dogs, and families with kids. I want to create a place for everyone to gather, talk with their neighbors and get to know local business owners," said Mike.
Mike is quick to point out how fortunate he is to be able to use his business for the greater good of the community. "I'm very blessed to have had the opportunity to purchase this building from the original owner," Mike said.
In addition to Vitale's Deli, Mike's building includes two locally owned businesses; Debbie and Pat McCormac own Moonbeams, a delightful gift shop, and Jake Utterback owns Utterback Chiropractic. "We all live in Glendale, and we are all community people. It gives me the feeling of living and working on The Hill," said Mike. "Communities like Glendale are rare; it takes someone to keep them going. I'm the guy they tapped, so I'm going to keep it going."
For more information about Vitale's pop-up market booths, contact Mike at (314) 966-9912 or stop by the shop.