By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Friday, February 13, 2009
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Members of the Hampton Heritage Commission recently presented a Historic Marker to the Marelli family in acknowledgment of Marelli's Market recognition by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources and listing on the State Register of Historic Places.
The building housing Marelli's Market was erected in 1841. It first stood on the south side of Exeter Road next to the railroad tracks, and was moved to its present location in 1900 as part of the effort to refocus the town center when the bridge was constructed over the railroad tracks.
Luigi and Celestina Marelli's family business has become an institution. Beginning as a fruit store in 1914, it is the longest continually operating business in downtown Hampton. From sending Christmas packages to Hampton's servicemen during World War II and the Korean conflict, to today's popularity as a gathering spot where locals come to discuss local events over a cup of coffee, Marelli's Market has played a significant part of life in Hampton for almost 100 years. Well known to generations of the area's children for its large selection of candy, it also popular for its delicious roasted cashews.
The store's proprietor, Richard Marelli, is one of the four children of Luigi and Celestina. He is quick to acknowledge that it is a combined family venture that goes beyond just running the store. Even the extensive research needed for inclusion on the state register was done by Luigi and Celestina's granddaughters, Marcia Raynes and Karen Hannon.