“Spice King” bringing extra flavor to the Italian Market

Michael Gargano creates seasoning and cooking videos to help promote Gargano’s Original Italian Market Spice Co. 

Everyone looking for an especially pleasant culinary shopping experience needs to meet Michael Gargano. Since July, the gregarious 18-year-old has been making Instagram videos touting the products sold at Gargano’s Original Italian Market Spice Co., 949 S. Ninth St., providing viewers with tips on blends and cooking instructions to enliven their kitchen-based endeavors. 

“I just love helping people to make their food taste as best as it can,” the Girard Estate resident said from his Bella Vista store. “Social media is a big part of promoting businesses, so I want to bring my expertise to people through the clips so that they can make their great meals even greater.”

Gargano has enjoyed solid traffic for his Instagram handiwork. The tutorials, most around 90 seconds long, highlight goods available from his family’s business. The tech-savvy teenager begins most with a friendly “How’s it going, everybody?” Whether he’s preparing a French fry seasoning or Gargano’s Original Chicken Cutlet, he exudes an air of confidence beyond his years. He also showcases his cooking prowess while making meatballs, grilled shrimp, and roasted potato seasonings.

Gargano, a Widener University student and Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School alumnus, hopes to broaden the appeal of the goods that he and grandfather John Gargano offer at their shop—and to complement the fruits and vegetables they hawk outside. 

Michael Gargano and grandfather John also sell produce outside of the Spice Co. space.

“I really want to help him,” Gargano said with a smile as his grandfather assisted customers with their purchases. “I worked at the store for a bit when I was in fifth grade, but it’s great to be back in a bigger capacity.” 

“I go by the name ‘The Spice King,’ but I’m still learning,” he said as he passed the shelves that house nearly 100 spices. “I’m having fun with the videos, but I’m always open to suggestions on how to be better. It’s really all about helping people to put the right stuff in their body, and I’m helping my grandfather. That’s rewarding in itself.”

View more of Gargano’s Original Italian Market Spice Co.’s Instagram videos.

Or visit their shop:

Gargano’s Original Italian Market Spice Co.
949 S. Ninth St.
Hours: 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday