When a 19 year old Sicilian boy stepped on to a Pyrmont Wharf in 1954, he couldn’t have dreamed that he would leave his children and grandchildren an incredible Sydney waterfront legacy that they would some day take to a new level.’
Signorelli Gastronomia is the latest addition to the stunning collection of venues operated by the Doltone House Group and Signorelli family.
For the family, this restaurant and gourmet food outlet is a tribute to the man whose statue stands at the front of the building.
Cast in bronze is Paul, Nina and Anna’s parents, Biaggio and Fina Signorelli and their seven grandchildren. The statue was unveiled by NSW Governor, Marie Bashir; Premier Kristina Keneally and Opposition Leader, Barry O’Farrell. Titled “Life From a Suitcase” the statue is a gift to the people of Australia from the Signorelli family to celebrate Australian migration.
Pyrmont Wharf 12 where Signorelli Gastronomia is located has a very special significance to the family, it is the spot where Biaggio Signorelli first set down his suitcase as a 19 year old from Poggioreale in Trapani, Sicily. He would go on to own a considerable slice of this beautiful waterfront real estate with the Doltone House Group.
Biaggio Signorelli arrived in Sydney in 1954. He was the youngest of five boys and found a job at a greengrocer’s in Willoughby. Despite Biaggio’s lack of speaking English, he bought his own fruit shop in Lakemba in 1964 and named it ‘Antonella’ after his mother. Biaggio married Fina in 1967 and the three children followed, Nina the eldest of the three, following on with Paul and lastly Anna.
The Lakemba fruit shop gave birth to Biaggio’s first food enterprise and was the place of origin where Nina, Paul and Anna’s fondest memories reside. Later in 1988, the Signorelli’s opened Mother Nature’s Fruit World, one of the first fresh food emporiums that carried liquor, fruit, deli goods, a newsagent, fish market, bread shop and butcher.
Biaggio’s fruit and vegetable business had exposed him to the wholesale hospitality market, but rather than simply supply the produce, in 1973 the family purchased the Clarendon Ballroom in Riverwood. Biaggio had ‘gone from food on the shelves to food on the plate by catering weddings at the nearby function centre’.
Biaggio’s dreams of expanding several business’s had come to fruition and the family could not be more content. Little did Biaggio know that he would go on to leave his children and grandchildren an incredible Sydney waterfront legacy that they would some day take to a new level.
In May 2008, Biaggio died in his son Paul’s arms from the cruel asbestos-related cancer, Mesothelioma. His funeral saw over 4000 people crowd St Mary’s Cathedral, including the Premier, government ministers and senators. Nina, Paul and Anna had inherited an incredible empire.
As Biaggio died in Paul’s arms and his last words to his son were: “Grow the business, look after your family and help to save others.”
This tragedy brought the family closer than ever to not only preserve their father’s legacy, but to expand on it considerably. With this expansion the Signorelli siblings continued their late fathers comprehensive food legacy through the Signorelli Gastronomia food and wine emporium, which is more than just an Italian restaurant. The Gastronomia is an interactive dining/shopping experience incorporating a salumeria, gourmet food store, wine shop, cheese shop, pizzeria, antipasto bar, cooking school and trattoria all rolled into one.
We welcome you to be apart of this great gastronomic atmosphere.