OUR STORY

A Brief History of the Owner

Nicola Parrotta was born on December 15, 1950 in Calabria, Italy in the province of Catanzaro. Calabria is a region of southern Italy located at the toe of the Italian peninsula.Growing up Nicola would walk from his village to grammar school each day (a twelve-mile journey in total) until he completed middle school.


At the age of seventeen, Nicola, along with his parents and two younger brothers, packed their bags in search of a better life in America. He and his father found construction work in Middletown, while on the weekends, Nicola would commute to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx where he worked in an Italian pork store.


In 1973, Nicola purchased the pork store where he worked, manufacturing and selling salami, and re-named it Calabria Pork Store, after his hometown in Italy. He put his heart and soul into his new store which became renowned for its authenticity. Another great thing happened to Nicola that year; he married Marisa Lostumbo, also of Calabria.


With a growing family to support, Nicola began investing in real estate. In 1995, he purchased the Stepping Stones Montessori School on Bennett Street where his daughter Adriana attended pre-school. There were just 19 students enrolled at the time. 


Due to increased enrollment, Nicola purchased the old Albert Street School from the City of Middletown in 1996. He brought with him the legendary Mrs. Cathy Prezioso, the school’s head teacher for thirty years. Together, they made New Beginnings. Nicola's youngest daughter, Nicole now operates the school and real estate.  


Although Nicola was a man of many trades, he was especially passionate about education. He valued the quality of private school education: “It’s just not the same as public school - it’s more focused on what children need for a higher level of learning”. His belief was that this country is full of opportunities, “and it all starts right here at school.”