Northeast residents came together Saturday night for a 30-course meal, live music and gift basket raffle. It was the Taste of Northeast Philadelphia, a yearly event hosted by Father Judge High School, which invites local vendors to set up shop in the cafeteria and meet their longtime (and potential) customers.
Father Joe Campellone, president of Father Judge, calls the fundraiser a “celebration of our neighborhood,” something he started five years ago, based on a similar South Philadelphia event. Taste of Northeast grows each year, with more vendors and more people. Campelone said he expects to raise between $40,000 and $50,000 this year — money that will support Father Judge.
Keep reading for an exclusive interview with Father Campellone, a slideshow and more from the event.
For Joe DeLeon and Dalis Soto, the Taste of Northeast is a great way to promote their business, Natalie Cakes. Open for nearly a year, the shop at Tustin and Bustleton is known for its custom cakes. Soto, owner and head decorator, had several examples of the store’s work on display, including a custom cake designed to look like a woman’s purse, makeup, car keys and shoe.
“Taste of Northeast is awesome,” DeLeon told NEast Philly. “We can’t wait for next year.”
A mere 15 feet away, Ashton Pub employees were serving up crab legs and chicken marsala, while celebrating their fourth year at Taste of Northeast.
“It’s great that [Father] Judge does this,” one of the owners said, while a waitress remarked that there isn’t any competition among the events’ vendors. The high number of vendors and 900 attendees brought a smile to the owner’s face, who boasted to NEast Philly: “I was born in the Northeast, I’ll die in the Northeast.”
While nearly 30 bars, delis and restaurants served up round after round of food and beer in the cafeteria, the crowd eventually ventured upstairs to the gym where they danced to live music from the Exceptions, who were asked by Campellone to play a little longer when no one was ready to leave at midnight.
As Campellone said: “The spirit of Northeast Philly is alive here tonight.”
You can see more photos from the event in our slideshow.
Father Judge thanked all the vendors who participated in Saturday’s event: 99 Restaurants, Ashton Pub, Cappy’s Cafe, Chickie’s & Pete’s, Crusader Deli, Dave & Busters, Dining Car, Fresh Works of Mayfair, Grey Lodge Pub, Guido’s, Hall Guys Catering, Holmesburg Bakery, Macaroni’s, Maggie’s Waterfront Cafe, Marinucci’s Deli, Miller’s Ale House, Moessner Foods &Catering, Natalie Cakes, Nick’s Roast Beef, Niki’s Cafe, Paddy Wacks, Pasiano’s, Reale’s Tavern, Red Rooster Inn, SmokeEaters, Sweet Lucy’s, Three Monkeys, Tony’s Place