Eldorado becomes go-to location for Italian food

Alto Markets consists of eight different markets under one roof

Mirror photo by Gary Baranec Members of the Seymore family (from left) Jeff, Marilyn, Travis and Amy at their new business Alto Markets Italian Foods, 5933 Sixth Ave.

A piece of Italy has come to Eldorado with the recent opening of Alto Markets Italian Foods in the former Alto Glass building at 5933 Sixth Ave.

“The original thought was to make it like an Italian street market with different shops,” owner and General Manager Travis Seymore said.

Alto Markets consists of eight small markets under one roof, said Travis’ wife, Amy Seymore, who works part-time in addition to her job as a teacher’s aide with Intermediate Unit 8.

Each of the eight markets — produce, soups, bakery and pasta, hardware, spices and oils, deli, the basics and prepared foods — are named after a family member.

Needless to say, Alto Markets offers a wide variety of products.

Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Customers are served at the new Italian food store, Alto Markets Italian Foods, which recendly opened in the former Alto Glass building at 5933 Sixth Ave., Altoona.

“We have a lot of specialty foods, Italian meats and cheeses that are hard to find. Boar’s Head has good deli meats,” Travis Seymore said. “We offer two hot meals during weeknights, all for take out. We have deli subs for lunch and dinner. If you find something elsewhere and we don’t have it, we will try to find it if it makes sense.”

Products from many local businesses can be found throughout the market.

Local products include DelGrosso’s sauces; Ritchey’s ice cream, milk and drinks; gluten-free pizzelles from Bella Lucia; cookies from Taddei’s Cookies of Gallitzin; and Aunt J’s Biscotti of Altoona.

“We offer many local products and supplement them with Italian meats and cheeses and pastas from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Our breads come from Pacifico’s Bakery of Altoona and BreadWorks Bakery in Pittsburgh. They come in on Monday and sell out quickly,” Travis Seymore said. “We also get fresh produce from local farmers when in season.”

Travis and Amy said they believed an Italian market was needed in the Eldorado area.

Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec Andrea Pyo of Cresson looks over a wide variety of Italian breads at Alto Markets Italian Foods in Altoona.

“My mother (Marilyn) is a Fiore. I am half-Italian,” Travis Seymore said.

His mother and father, Jeff, are both vice presidents with the business.

Travis has some background in the food business, as he was an owner and cook at Leonardo’s along Sixth Avenue.

He also worked for 21 years at Seymore Bros Inc., serving in several positions. He left that job in October to start working on Alto Markets.

“I did 90 percent of the renovation work myself,” Travis Seymore said.

The new business has done well since the June 20 soft opening.

“So far, we’ve done real well. Business has been steady and has been growing steadily. We just started to advertise,” Travis Seymore said.

Blair County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Joe Hurd is a loyal customer.

“Unfortunately, what’s good for business isn’t always good for my waistline. Especially when that business is located so close to where I work. I’ve visited Alto Markets and will visit them often. The variety is impressive, and the quality is hard to beat. I was sorry to see Lucci’s (Little Italian Marketplace) close. Nick (Castellucci) had good stuff, as well. The area has truly been well-served in the Italian foods department,” Hurd said.

Alto Markets catering consists of preparing food for special events.

“We don’t go out, but we have items people can pick up. We can prepare sandwich trays, meat and cheese trays and pastas,” Travis Seymore said.

“Meatball and sausage trays are popular. We can do anything they ask for. If they want it, we can do it,” Marilyn Seymore said.

The business employs 19 part- and full-time workers and hopes to add more as the business grows.

“We add products constantly and hope to continue to grow,” Travis Seymore said.

Business hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The website is www.altomarkets.com.