Hailing from the provence of Salerno, Italy, Clara arrived in the United States on December 30, 1970. As an immigrant, her work ethic and indomitable spirit prevailed. Self-supporting as a teenager, she worked as an Avon lady and as a sales associate for a catalogue company. She then met and married the love of her life, Antonio Grande.
Her account of their storybook romance is one that warms the heart. When she met him, she looked up at him and even before she heard him speak, she said to herself, ‘that is the man I am going to marry.’ From the time that they returned from their honeymoon, Clara and Antonio combined their entrepreneurial spirits. Antonio confided his desire to own a restaurant, and Clara fed his motivation, helping sculpt his vision from their first restaurant, Bel’vedere, to Il Capriccio Ristorante.
Since Il Capriccio’s inception in December of 1984, Clara has held many positions from hostess and bartender, to working behind the scenes as bookkeeper, garmage, and dishwasher. All this while raising the couple’s three children.
In 2008, Clara realized a dream, opening a specialty Italian gourmet grocery, in La Famiglia. The store has been thriving, offering such delights as savory panini, domestically and internationally imported meats and cheeses, delectable desserts, which she and her daughter, Teresa, bake and the families own food brand The Flying Meatballs. More than a place to find delectable edibles, La Famiglia connects Clara to her extended family, the local community.