Pat Minnite Sr.
About Our Founder Pat Minnite
To understand Pat Minnite, one first has to understand his beginnings. His father, Pasquale Minniti, came from Locri, Portigola, Italy, as a 17-year-old boy and started working in Pittsburgh in 1915. When World War I broke out, he had to choose whether to fight as an American soldier or go back to Italy to enlist. He chose Italy, and that’s how the family began.
He married his wife Rosina Oppedisano there, and he returned to the states after the war, working and sending money home. He would go back and forth between countries, and his family started to grow. Two of his children were born in Italy, but they had all moved to Meadowbrook, WV, just outside Clarksburg, by the time the youngest, baby #6, was born in the 1930’s. So Pat was a first-generation American citizen.
Pasquale’s father worked in the coal mines for years, while Rosina (the true boss, according to Pat) managed the family. They decided he was done with mining, and opened Minnite’s Grocery, which included a beer parlor and gas pumps. Family business had begun. That store still stands today, and his descendants still run the business.
According to Pat Sr., that grocery store is where he learned to be charitable. The family lived in a very poor area. The store was a school bus stop, and his dad would always have breakfast ready for kids he knew weren’t getting enough to eat at home. His mother also fed families in the neighborhood – in fact, on holidays, Pat remembers that he and his brother would have to deliver meals to those families before they themselves could eat. That’s just how it was – the family took care of those around them.