Jay Piccirillo was born and raised in Bridgeport. His father Andy ran Micalizzi’s Italian Ice on Madison Avenue until he died at the early age of 38. The business was then taken over by Jay’s mother, Lucille, who had to learn everything on the spot. This year, Micalizzi’s celebrated it’s 40th Anniversary in the heart of Bridgeport with Jay running the show. He is focused on broadening the company brand via social media and branching out through local area restaurants, but his heart remains in Bridgeport.
An example of this could be seen the Saturday following Thanksgiving when Micalizzi’s hosted their annual Christmas party in their parking lot right on Madison Avenue. Jay himself played Santa, handing out gifts to every child that visited. Christmas movies and music played in the background as guests enjoyed complimentary donuts and hot cocoa. Characters like Olaf and Mickey Mouse wandered around greeting the kids and taking pictures.
The event was also an opportunity to give back to the community where they are located. Since he was a young boy and a student at St. Patrick’s, Jay remembers volunteering at the Thomas Merton Center. This is why he decided to ask everyone who attended the event to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Thomas Merton Center’s food pantry. Jay himself then delivered the donation to Brian Jenkins and Sabin Kuczo at the Thomas Merton Center which is located on Madison Avenue just down the street from Micalizzi’s. According to Jay, “The Thomas Merton Center is a vital part of Bridgeport and helps those who need it the most.” Jay and Sabine are old friends, as Sabine is a “long time customer” of Micalizzi’s. But Jay and Brian met for the very first time, a relationship between the local business owner and soup kitchen Director that they both hope will continue into the future to benefit the people of downtown Bridgeport.