Rico Calarese's first store. It was on Mendon Street.
Food Center in the former Patrick's building.

In 1966, Rico built a new store, that you can see at the back of this photo. When it was completed, the old store was torn down and the area where it had been became a parking lot.

Line to get into the store on Grand Opening Day.

Hopedale History
May 2024
No. 427
Rico Calarese Buys Patrick’s

 Hopedale in May  


Twenty-five years ago – May 1999 –  Oklahoma tornado outbreak: a devastating tornado, rated F5 on the Fujita scale, hits southern and eastern Oklahoma City metropolitan area, killing 36 people (and 5 indirectly) and producing the highest winds recorded on Earth: 301 ± 20 mph.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.

Fifty years ago – May 1974 – Under Project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon, becoming the 6th nation to do so. (Would Buddha really have approved?)

A bomb explodes in Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the British Houses of Parliament. The hall’s annex, housing offices, and a canteen are destroyed by the bombing, attributed by police to the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army.

Isabel Perón is sworn in as the first female President of Argentina, replacing her sick husband Juan Perón, who dies 2 days later.

One-hundred years ago – May 1924J. Edgar Hoover is appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Mercedes-Benz is formed by the merging of companies owned by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz.

Italian socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti speaks out against Fascism. A few days later he is kidnapped and murdered in Rome.

News items above are from Wikipedia. For Hopedale news from 25, 50 and 100 years ago, see below this text box.


Food Center Buys Henry Patrick Company

Milford Daily News – 1956

Sale of the stock, furnishings and real estate of the 87-year-old Henry Patrick Co., was cleared today with the final signature of papers. The new owner is Americo (Rico) Calarese, former manager of the firm, who left to form his own business, known as the Food Center, in 1949.

Calarese said today he will move into the Henry Patrick location, on Hopedale Street, tomorrow and will retain the name Food Center, concentrating his business on groceries and meats. The Patrick firm had a dry goods department.

The sale, approved by the stockholders, was handled through the real estate business of Domenic Bozzini of Milford. The Patrick name was not included in the sale.

Patrick Co. was founded in 1869 and has been a landmark in this area. In later years, the firm operated a second store at the corner of Hopedale and Mendon streets.

John Lahive is the oldest worker in service still at the store, having been with the firm for 51 years. Several years ago, Heman Hersey of Mendon retired after being with the company for 60 years.

Calarese began work at the store as a high school boy, and returned after completing his education at Dean Academy. From clerk, he rose to buyer and then to manager, working for the firm more than 16 years.

Seven years ago, he formed his own business on Mendon Street. His wife, the former Eva LaChappelle of Southbridge, son Richard, and John Deianna, will move over to the new store location to continue as employees.

During the switchover tomorrow, both locations will be open for business. On Thursday, the Food Center will be re-located on Hopedale Street at the Patrick site, and business will be conducted there only.

Calarese said future plans call for renovation of the building, but nothing definite can be disclosed at this time.

Calarese has been a resident of Hopedale and Milford for many years. His store, the Food Center, sponsors a team in the Hopedale Little League.

   Henry Patrick’s Store  

   Now and Then – Patrick’s and Rico’s  

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Hopedale News – May 1999


Hopedale in May 1974


Hopedale in May 1924


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