Ti voglio bene.
Peter Nappi was born in Vietri di Potenza, Italia. His father was a shoemaker. His grandfather was a shoemaker. The passion was in his blood, and it is in ours today.
The New World
Peter Nappi and his brother Michele came to America in an effort to build a better life. They made shoes together in a small shop in the Lower East Side in New York. They were known for their sense of timeless style and quality work.
Drawn to the Italian communities and promise of more space for his tomato garden, Peter and his bother moved to Columbus Ohio. Having four children he needed more income that his shoe business was providing. He invested and went to work in the kitchen making his famed Red Sauce. It is said that as his restaurant business grew, he could be heard saying “All I want to do is make shoes!”.
Dedication to Authenticity
Family rumors tell of the time when Peter was approached by a food distributor who wanted to can his pasta sauce and sell it on his shelves. Appalled by the idea of mass producing something so personal, he declined the offer. The grocery chain owner reportedly found a chef in Cleveland who was game for the task; Chef Boyardee.
Not the End, but a Pause
Peter Nappi passes on, leaving behind his beloved family. Unfortunately the Nappi shoemaking tradition stopped with his passing.
The Passion for Cooking Simmers
Peter’s grandson Phillip Nappi was born to Peter’s son Julius. Julius (Joe for short) was as stylish as his father and instilled a love of quality clothing and footwear in his son. Carrying on in his father’s path, Joe was in the restaurant business and never introduced shoemaking as the family trade to his son.
A Serendipitous Discovery
After several years as an entrepreneur, Phillip is drawn to his Italian roots and moves his family to Firenze, Italia. Remembering his father’s love of quality footwear and following a nagging need to understand the craft, Phillip studies under master shoemakers in the area. While researching his family history it is here he finds out shoemaking is in his blood.
The Peter Nappi brand is launched in Nashville, TN on a foundation of authentic craftsmanship, family tradition and timeless style.