One year anniversary celebrating ‘Made in New Haven’

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) —  The City of New Haven and Mayor Toni Harp are celebrating a year since the beginning of the ‘Made in New Haven‘ campaign. There is a long history of making things in New Haven, but it’s not just history. Lots of people are still making things here, and for the past year, they have been proudly displaying the ‘Made In New Haven’ label.

When it comes to tomato sauce, “Made in New Haven” has always meant top quality.

“People pick up a jar and they see ‘Made in New Haven’ and they say, ‘Those guys know how to make Italian food,'” says Patrick Palmieri, of Palmieri Foods.

The company began when Patrick’s grandmother put some sauce in a jar for a neighbor who was too tired to cook for her husband. Today, the Hamilton Street plant makes 2,000-5,000 gallons every day for customers hundreds of miles away.

“New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Those are our strong areas.”

Palmieri is one of 86 business that have signed up to be part of the “Made In New Haven” program. The city unveiled that label a little over a year ago, and it has been expanding ever since. Businesses include manufacturers, retailers, web-based companies, production companies and makers that produce goods in or in honor of New Haven. Some of them farm their products, like the folks at Greenwave, who farm kelp in Long Island Sound.

Lots of people want to put their stamp on New Haven. Speaking of stamps, the A.D. Perkins Company has been making rubber stamps in New Haven since 1876.

“Just something that you have to do quickly and mark a paper ‘Rush,’ ‘Paid,’ whatever and it has to be done,” explains owner Jay Smilovich. “People use them all the time.”

A.D. Perkins has had a storefront on Elm Street since the 1950s.

“People come in, order, pick up their orders without any problems,” said Smilovich. “They like to come in.”

They make more than stamps. They have a laser engraver that makes all kinds of signs, but they still consider themselves old fashioned.

“Well, we still use drill presses, we still use table saws,” Smilovich said.

For Smilovich, that is what is so important about being ‘Made in New Haven.’

“There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in taking raw materials and creating, through a series of processes, into something useful, a finished product,” Smilovich said.

For a list of all the companies involved in ‘Made in New Haven,’ click here.

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