Pietro Anania (An-ah-nee-ah) immigrated to the United States from Calabria, Italy in the early 1900s and settled in Portland, Maine. He and his wife Linda lived in an area of Portland known as “Little Italy” and they had seven children. A couple of the children decided to try out a grocery store on Newbury St. and called it the Newbury Street Market. Ed was one of the youngest in the family and at eighteen enlisted in the Navy. When he returned home from the Korean Conflict he decided to go into business with his siblings. Ed married Rosemary Connolly in 1958 and they had four children.
He had a sharp mind and ventured out to expand their business. They bought a property on Congress St., a very busy area in the Libbytown section of Portland, and called this store ANANIA’S Variety. He said he wanted to call it by the family name because people never knew how to pronounce the name and now they would. At this location, they sold subs, pizza, beer, wine, and groceries. Over the years, six of the seven Anania siblings were partners or employees in the business and this turned out to be a profitable endeavor for the Anania Family. Rose worked in the business whenever needed and helped to establish a catering service that is still going strong today. Ed and Rose’s four children all worked in the store over the years but their second child Ed Jr. decided to make it a career after he graduated from college.