Drogheria Fine opened their doors to the Mile End community approximately five years ago. Since then folks have travelled from near and far to grab a jar of its famed pasta sauce. This special sauce is the only product that Drogheria Fine actively promotes. Yet, they have shown that what they lack in variety, they make up for in quality! The specialty store has under ten products and all of them are based off the prized pasta sauce. Which is titled “La Salsa Della Nonna.” This quite literally translates to “Grandmas Sauce” and is owner Franco Grattuso’s family recipe.
Photo by Ismaël Ulvik
When walking into the tiny shop visitors are instantly greeted with a tantalizing aroma and some tomato eye candy. Customers are able to see the sauce being prepared in the back room, pots’n’all! The small shop can give off a minimalist appearance with only a few jars on the shelves. However, this is due to customers buying the sauce faster than they can stock it, rather than an offbeat design choice.
After meeting Franco it quickly becomes clear that he is the godfather of Montreal pasta sauce. He explained to us “With Drogheria I’m continuing the history of my culture and of the history of Montreal culture.” Franco used to disperse his famed sauce from his own restaurant “Il Piatto della Nonna.” However he departed from the busy restaurant industry and chose to focus on dispersing his sauce at a retail level. Thus, Drogheria Fine was born!
The shop is located directly next door to the world famous Fairmont bagel. Franco told us that he likes having Fairmont as a neighbours because “the light’s always on and they have great clientele.” Who would have thought such a partnership could exist between bagels and tomato sauce?
So if you find yourself in the neighbourhood be sure to pop into Drogheria Fine. Have a chat with Franco, enjoy the traditional ambience, and pick up some of his exceptional pasta sauce. You’d better go before it’s sold out!
68 Fairmount Street W
Check out more from Madeleine Lahaie @ www.MadeleineLahaie.com