How Carroll Gardens keeps its mom-and-pop stores

While large companies opting to buy their real estate spaces has been a boon to development in Manhattan, the same decision made years ago by smaller firms is preserving mom-and-pop charm in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. There, Crain’s reported, on 13 blocks of busy Court StreetBetween Warren Street and Fourth Place, more than 20 longtime, mostly Italian small businesses are thriving while gentrification rears its head in nearby residential real estate and the Trader Joe’s and Union Market that have moved in recently.

Those businesses include D’Amico Foods, which opened in 1948 and P.J. Hanleys, a bar that opened in 1874. There are also the circa-1904 Caputo’s Bake Shop, the 95-year-old Staubitz Market, the 64-year-old Court Pastry Shop and G. Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store, which opened in 1922.

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While these stores have certainly shifted the way they stock their shelves to keep pace with their changing environs, they remain in the same family because the founders had the foresight to buy the stores. Rents on Court Street now reach as high as $115 per square-foot.

“I have no idea how people can pay rent here,” John Esposito, who runs his grandfather’s pork store, told Crain’s. [Crain’s]