Matteo Dave, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was the well-known owner of the Stroudsburg Italian food market at 344 Main St., which carried his name.
Born in Italy, Dave came to the United States in 1912, settling in Stroudsburg. Three years later, he started his business, a house-to-house service, delivering goods using a horse-drawn wagon.
When his adopted country entered World War I in 1917, Dave joined the U.S. Army, serving until after the armistice.
In 1919, Dave, who became a U.S. citizen in 1920, bought the market of Tony Torzillo at 418 Main St., Stroudsburg.
The business grew, and, in 1922, Dave moved the market to 344 Main, a property which he had purchased or would soon purchase.
The popular grocery was known for its specialties: spaghetti, imported oils, anchovies, salami and Italian bread. A complete line of seafood, fruits and vegetables as well as imported and domestic groceries were also available to shoppers.
Dave credited his success to his customers, stating that he was most appreciative of the local patronage that had made possible his progress, according to a 1933 Daily Record article.
The article also revealed that with careful attention to his business, he made himself a “substantial citizen” of the community.
He also served four years as president of the local Italian Mutual Benefit Association, having previously serving six years as vice president. He was a member of the Stroudsburg Lodge of Eagles 1106 and of the Stroudsburg Moose Lodge.
Dave and his wife, the former Rose Panza, along with his three children lived in the same building as his Italian grocery and deli.
He was described, in the newspaper article, as as being married to a “fine wife,” who assisted him in the operation of the store.
In 1962, he retired, turning the business over to his son, James. Dave died in 1972. He was 78. His wife in 1983, at age 80.