Mangone’s – The Family Behind the Market
By Sharon Torres -
For many village residents Mangone’s Farmers’ Market is a fixture in the community. It is a place to buy locally sourced fresh vegetables, flowers for your garden or to pick out a Christmas tree, but for those who have spent some time with the Mangones you see this family business has been a vital piece of our community for over 70 years.
Today the business is run by Rick Mangone, a village resident, but the business began with his dad Anthony Mangone back in 1946. What started as a produce stand has grown and evolved over the years but has remained at its core a family business grounded in providing the residents of the village both quality and value all year round.
Anthony Mangone was born in Italy and came to the United States as a young boy. After graduation, he became a statistician on Wall Street. In 1929, he was in the New York City and witnessed people jumping out of buildings as the stock market crashed. It was then that he decided that he needed a more stable job.
Anthony was hired as a mail carrier in Mamaroneck and lived with family as he saved money to start his own business. He eventually became the Superintendent of Mail in the Mamaroneck Post Office and eventually retired from the post office in 1964. While working for the post office, he had a produce stand behind Walter’s Hot Dogs on Palmer Avenue. Eventually he decided to look for a more permanent location.
While running the produce stand and working as a mail carrier, he leased property in Armonk where he farmed 38 acres of land and then sold his harvests. IBM eventually bought the property and Anthony brought in produce from other local farmers to keep the business running. He was a hard-working man whose main focus was to provide for his family. He believed your word was your bond and that a handshake meant more than a signed contract.
In 1947 Anthony bought the property at 1427 East Boston Post Road, in foreclosure, from the Town of Rye. While he worked in the post office, his wife ran the produce business. Rick was the youngest of three sons. He originally went to college with the expectation of leaving the family business but returned to the farmers market to help his dad. In 1973 Rick officially took over the business.
As a teenager in Mamaroneck High School Rick was a guitarist in a local band, The Continentals. Though they began playing at local clubs, weddings and civic events. On July 9, 1961, the band played on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour on national television. You can watch that performance on YouTube HERE. While Anthony focused more on produce and flowers, Rick diversified the business into a larger nursery and garden center to keep the business competitive.
Rick has been a committed member of the community and was an Auxiliary Police Officer between 1967-1985. He served on the Recreation Commission and was Chairman for 10 years. He has also been involved with the St. Vito’s Festival as both a Chair and Co-Chair. Before COVID his staff would participate in the Ragamuffin (Halloween) Parade by supplying a tractor with a giant pumpkin and providing hayrides down at Harbor Island.
During the height of COVID, the market nearly closed but pivoted to provide more essential products including more produce and essential groceries – all with outdoor shopping or contactless pickup on phone orders.
The Mangone family has established strong partnerships with local businesses, supported local schools, participated in fundraisers, pumped out basements for residents during flooding, lent generators to those in need, and served as a collection site for donations for those affected by Ida. On occasion they have even used their equipment to help get a local cat out of a tree. According to Rick, “I’m here for the village because it’s my home - we try to give you quality and value – that’s what we do”.
Rick’s daughters, Shelley and Lori, also worked in the market growing up. Both went to college with the expectations of taking their careers in a different direction. Shelley returned to help during the height of COVID and found that this time around the family business seems more fun and interesting. Now that her kids are older and more independent, Shelley finds herself working at the market “all the time.” Shelley met her husband, Mike, at Mangone’s, when at age 13, his dad brought him to Mangone’s for a part time job. He never left. Thirty-six years later Mike can’t imagine working anywhere else. “Rick is like a second dad to me, and I’ll be here for as long as he wants me.”
The foundation of their success stems from their customer service. “Servicing the people is the best part of the job – when you do a job, and they are happy with the outcome – to make people happy and to make a living doing it.”
Mangone's Farmers' Market is located at 1427 E. Boston Post Road, Phone: (914) 698-3865. Winter store hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Come Spring, they’ll be open 7 days a week so start your garden planting now!