Our Story

Citarella has been part of the fabric of New York for over 100 years

Our StoryJoe at Fulton Fish Market

Over a century of culinary history and counting.
Our story began in 1983 when Joe Gurrera bought Citarella: a beloved neighborhood seafood shop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, around since 1912. At the time, the store was small (occupying just a fraction of the space that Citarella’s flagship location does today) but Joe saw it as an opportunity to build his love of seafood in this local treasure.

PASSION
Joe’s passion for seafood started when he was a teenager, working alongside his father at the family’s fish shop in Greenwich Village, learning the trade. After college Joe went into business for himself, supplying the freshest and best to some of New York City’s top restaurants. It’s a story familiar to many hard-working New Yorkers: waking in the dead of night, Joe would arrive at the Fulton Fish Market early — to guarantee first pick of the day’s incoming catch. Then, he would then work late into the evening, sleeping just a few hours before starting again.

RELATIONSHIPS
Through the years, Joe carefully honed his knowledge, building relationships with trusted fishermen and collecting pearls of wisdom from experienced fishmongers. His efforts paid off — and his commitment quality, value, and freshness attracted a team of talented culinary professionals that helped him grow his business. Today, Joe owns seafood wholesale company Lockwood & Winant, seafood supplying business Meat Without Feet, an online seafood store that ships nationwide, and multiple Citarella markets across New York City, the Hamptons, and Greenwich, CT — each one offering a full line of gourmet foods and ingredients.

 

GROWTH
Firmly rooted in seafood, Joe’s influence now extends throughout the entire culinary community. He opened his first wine shop in 2016, delivered the December 2017 commencement address at the Culinary Institute of America, and is in the process of writing his first cookbook, due out Summer 2018.

Each new accomplishment is a reminder of Joe’s dedication — and the values that Citarella still stands for today. Or, as Joe himself explains it, “Passion. I am where I am today because I truly love what I do.”