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The Chief Executive at Zeppole, LLC. Joseph Camerieri, the creator of its famous Zeppole Mix, said in a statement that comedian Mike. Marino has a huge social media following on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. “Marino directs his comedy towards all types of people, particularly Italian-Americans,” Camerieri said. “But more importantly, he is an Italian-American and so passionate and emotionally excited about the product, hence I could not be happier with our sponsorship of Mike Marino. He fits our ideal demographic. We love his podcast ‘Live From My Mother’s Basement”, and his comedy tour “Make American Italian Again”. Camerieri also points out that Marino had on famous celebrities, like Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering, and actor Joe Montagna from “Criminal Minds”, Sean Kanan “Karate Kid Part 3”. Although the Zeppole mix has been around for a long time, few people are aware of the back story that led to its inspiration. There was a famous Manhattan Italian Feast of San Gennaro, a booth, a real Italian married couple, and now the company announces they will be sponsoring a well-known spokesman and comedian.
The real history of Camerieri’s Zeppole Mix forms a special narrative: Joseph’s mother Gaetana “Chickie” Camerieri was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. While growing up, she often celebrated the Feast of San Gennaro. In 1976, Mother Gaetana moved to Florida along with her husband and three children. Years later, as a member of a newly-formed Italian women’s group, she pitched the idea of an Italian Feast of San Gennaro to be showcased in Safety Harbor. Florida. The Festival soon grew to 15,000 attendees for a three-day weekend event.
There was another family member working in tandem with Gaetana; that is, her son Charlie owned Camerieri’s Italian Bakery in Florida. To replicate what happened back at the famous Manhattan Italian Festival, Charlie was approached by the Italian-American woman’s club, no longer in existence today, to make and sell the Zeppoles at the event Mother Gaetana had helped to start in Safety Harbor. Charlie verified the old family recipe with his senior Italian cousin Elizabeth and after a few tries, he struck gold.
The family constructed and managed a Zeppole booth at the Festival for seven years in a row. Over the years this unique recipe was the reason why over 500,000 Zeppole were sold at numerous Italian Festivals. As time went on, Joseph Camerieri, Charlie’s brother, decided to develop a formula for turning their popular recipe into a dry mix that could be sold on a shelf or in-person to make at home. Also, the mix could easily be transformed into the tasty treat offered at the Festival. Soon, people everywhere were asking for the mix. Joseph Camerieri then began to modify the recipe to meet the growing demand. “We couldn’t believe how our Zeppole became such a hit with the festival goers, every year,” said Camerieri, “we hope this tremendous mix turns out to be somehow a tribute to mom and dad,”.