I often get asked if I'm a big Beatles fan because of my shop's name PennyLane, all the while humming the tune,
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes there beneath the blue suburban skies…
Very few, however, know the real meaning and story behind my shop's name and inspiration. It's a personal story of my childhood, which has brought me here today to open my dream store in the neighborhood I grew up in many many years ago.
I'm first-generation Italian-American. My parents were born in Italy, where today, all my family and cousins still reside. My parents fell in love in Italy, and my father followed my mother along with her parents here to San Jose, California, back in the late '60s, where my mother gave birth to my one and only brother, Robert. A decade later, in the 1970s, they gave birth to their headstrong daughter, who was the cause of most of their grey hairs early in life, Anna.
My parents were entrepreneurs, and my dad was one of the Bay Area's top foreign car mechanics. They opened their auto repair business, Roselli's Foreign Car Repair in San Jose while I was just a toddler. While my mom worked long hours by my dad's side, my grandma would spend her days babysitting me—those where the best days of my life. We would walk for hours up and down Daryl Drive steps away from what is today known as Penny Lane Town Homes behind my shop PennyLane. She'd let me push my stroller around while we'd look for pennies to fill this giant 5-gallon water jug my grandpa gave me.
Fast forward several decades later, I found myself all grown up living in Campbell blocks away from my childhood home raising my own family. My father passed away before getting the chance to meet my beautiful daughters, Eloisa and Daniela, who at the time of my store's conception were just 6 and 3 years old. Losing my dad to bile duct cancer at an early age made me miss all those milestones most children get to experience with their parents. Now being a parent of my own raising two beautiful girls, I realized that I wanted to recreate some of the same childhood experiences for them as I was so lucky to have. My parents owned their own business, which meant sometimes I didn't get to always do things with them that maybe other children my age may have gotten to do. However, their dedication to their work and dreams instilled deep values within me to work just as hard as them towards accomplishing my goals. I wanted to prove to my girls that the American Dream is something that can still be achieved even during these harder economic times.
My mom and dad gave me the ability and courage to take a chance on myself in living my dream while my grandma gave me the love and belief that I could achieve anything if I put my heart into it!
That's exactly what goes into everything I do at PennyLane. As for the name (even though ironically, there are townhomes just behind my shop's building named Penny Lane), it comes from my favorite childhood memories of picking up pennies with my grandma on those long days where she would babysit me while my parents worked at their shop. It was as if faith or I'd like to think my dad watching over me in heaven, had created this moment for me to follow my dreams by opening up the pathway to see this sign naming a street a block away from my old home, Penny Lane.
I welcome you now to create wonderful memories in my store. Everything here comes from my love of creating delicious handcrafted items or selling things that inspire my childhood memories to come to life. I try to incorporate my Italian heritage by finding and using products imported from Italy. I source local ingredients and products that support other family-owned businesses in my neighborhood because I know that small businesses are the backbone of our community and are made possible only through hard work and sacrifices. Thank You for your support by shopping at PennyLane and keeping this dream alive.