Frank Stefano Darrigo
Frank Darrigo was president of Darrigo’s Food Markets. At one time the chain had 10 stores, but six of them were sold when other family members went their own way. Part of a large family, 13 children in all, Frank was proud of his Sicilian heritage, and the fact that he was born in Cabbagetown. During the Depression, life was tough when the family was receiving relief (welfare). Frank even took to riding the rails for a brief time in the ‘30s. His father, Stefano, was a fruit peddler and, as the oldest son, Frank started peddling fruit door-to-door at the age of five. At the age of 16 he finally acquired a pushcart with rubber wheels and, once he had enough money, he bought a truck and travelled throughout Toronto, and as far north as Sudbury. With his brother John, Frank opened the first store on Danforth Avenue in 1950. Darrigo’s eventually grew to 10 local stores with a couple in nearby cities. The company also started a grape juice firm in Toronto, a winery in Quebec and a wine and juice operation in California. A hardnosed businessman, Frank was generous with his friends when they were down on their luck. Frank Darrigo died on October 18, 1987.