The Ferina Family

Faubourg St. John neighbor, Robert Thompson sent in this great photo.
Fairgrinds-1939-FerinaGaetano Ferina, Vincenza Campisi Ferina, Josephine Ferina Lama, and Jo-Ann Lama Gibbs

Gaetano & Vincenza were both born in Roccamena, Italy. They were married on 7-19-1902 in Iberville Parish.

Many thanks to Faubourg St. John neighbor Robert Thompson for sending in this great photo of the Ferina family who used to sell oysters at what is now Fair Grinds at 3133 Ponce de Leon right here in Faubourg St. John. In the photo above, one can see Gaetano Ferina holding freshly shucked oysters. Click on the photo above for a larger view.

robert-elizabethRobert and Elizabeth owned Fair Grinds at 3133 Ponce de Leon for over 10 years! “The number of neighborhood projects, business ideas, national and international movements that have been directly supported there cannot be counted. It’s too lengthy. The number of people who made a true connection can also not be counted. It multiplied past everyday numbers years ago.” Read the rest of the heartfelt goodbye at:
article below by Robert Thompson | originally published at on February 29, 2012

A ten year search for a piece of art began when I purchased a building at 3133 Ponce deLeon in 2001. At the time it was destined to become Fair Grinds Coffeehouse, but it had been many things before.

Neighbors would often appear during the renovation and tell me of the building’s history. Several things intrigued me. One was the place had been a notorious bar named “Daisy Mae’s” and the other was the Shirley Rabe Masinter had painted an early “hyper-realist” painting of the building.

Over the years I heard stories and reference to “Daisy Mae’s”, but nothing more of the painting by the famous local artist. I made inquries of several galleries and persons close to the artist, but with no result. Then a few months ago I sold the place.

It happened I needed a document for the sale notarized, so while eating at Liberty’s Kitchen on N. Broad, I went upstairs to the legal offices of David Band. A familiar face emerged to help me, a customer who I recalled would sometimes visit my coffehouse in his vintage Rolls Royce. Then the revelation, in converstaion he revealed he now owned the painting I’d been searching for!

Dave sent me the picture you see above of the painting, a glimpse into what had gone on before on Ponce deLeon, and a tribute to the work of the well known Faubourg St. John artist Shirley Rabe Masinter. There, in all its glory, was Daisy Mae’s, and Cafe Degas’ former tenant – a barbershop!   Warren Guidry adds, “Mr. Anthony Cuccia owned the barbershop as well as a Maurepas St. double nearby.”     Many thanks to David Band for allowing FSJNAdotORG to use an image of his treasured painting and to Robert Thompson for relaying this great story!


All of the fair trade coffee being brewed at Fair Grinds is now being sourced from the Port of New Orleans to benefit New Orleans commerce and the unionized longshore workers of New Orleans and their livelihoods.

Additionally the coffee is now also locally roasted in special blends for Fair Grinds by Coast Roasters of New Orleans and Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The Fair Grinds New Orleans blend is a first, combining Honduran fair trade coffee with chicory grown in Nebraska.

Fair Grinds has announced that after the 2011 harvest, much of its fair trade coffee will come directly from COMUCAP to New Orleans through a partnership with this all women’s coffee and aloe vera growing cooperative in Marcala, Honduras. Fair Grinds has weighed in on its concerns about the disputes over fair trade certification between Fair Trade USA and Fairtrade International and argued for a more direct engagement that assures benefits to both producers and consumers, rather than the current system which seems to favor corporate coffee and the certifying groups themselves ( and/or

3133 Ponce de Leon | New Orleans
Open 7 days each week from 6:30 am until 10 pm
Phone: 504-913-9072