When Carmine Cenatiempo was a teenager, he worked in the John’s Best kitchen. Sandra Calise — about the same age — was a waitress.
As a young kid, he came to the US from Ischia. That’s where her grandparents are from.
No longer teenagers, they got married at Cobb’s Mill.
Thirty years ago this July 1, they bought Calise’s Market.
It was a longtime family business. The previous owners — Sandra’s grandparents — ran it as a grocery and butcher shop.
Carmine and Sandra made it more of a deli. Always a popular spot on the Post Road — just east of Sakura and Cumberland Farms — they ensured it’s a consistently good, always friendly place to eat (and linger).
Sandra does not work there. After graduating from Sacred Heart University, she’s at Settlers & Traders, her father’s real estate company.
But Carmine is always there (except when he’s making a delivery — to a Staples sports team, or any of his many other catering clients).
Carmine and Sandra never say no. Their generosity supports everything, from youth sports and the Weston Fire Department to Pink Aid.
Carmine loves his deli, his customers and his family. He and his wife have 3 kids: Francesca (a student at St. Catherine’s in Bridgeport), CJ (who was born at home, before the Weston EMS could arrive) and Charlotte (a soccer player at Gettysburg College).
Carmine works 7 days a week. He never takes a vacation. But he visited Charlotte this spring, when she studied abroad in Rome. With CJ, they visited Ischia — Carmine’s first time back in 40 years.
If you’ve ever been to Calise’s, you know Carmine’s kindness, grace and smile. He and Sandra are humble and loving. They would never ask for anything for themselves.
So a grateful friend — Jean Lepore — is asking instead: Can “06880” give a shoutout to Carmine, Sandra and Calise’s Deli, on their 30th anniversary as owners?
We’re more than honored to do that. In fact — for 3 decades of service, generosity and kindness to our community — Carmine and Sandra are our Unsung Heroes of the week!