Over 110 years ago in 1903, Angelo Draghi arrived at the Port of New York with $15.00 in his pocket from a village in Northern Italy known as Gambaro. After a stint in the coal mines in Pennsylvania and a try at factory work in New York, he yearned for an environment more like his homeland.
Five years after his arrival to the States, Angelo sent money for passage to the girl he left behind in Italy, Josephina Scaglia, who arrived in the port of New York in April of 1908. They were married three days later and lived in New York for the first several years of their marriage and had three children.
Over the years the family visited friends and relatives on Matson Hill Road, the heart of the farm land in South Glastonbury. In 1917 a farm on Foote Road, just off of Matson Hill Road became available and the Draghis purchased it, naming it “A. Draghi & Sons”. At last this was like their homeland – rocky and hilly. It would be their home for the rest of their lives. The couple had six more children. Angelo, along with his sons and horse worked very hard to improve the farm by removing tons of rocks and stones and planting more fruit trees. Out of eight boys and one girl, the love of farming wore off on four boys and they too made their living farming.
After the passing of Angelo and Josephina Draghi Gino purchased the family homestead from the estate in 1961 and continued to work the farm with his brother Andrew as his partner. In order to support both families Gino and Andrew rented and worked other farmland. The business was known as Hi-Ground Orchards. In 1968 they purchased farmland and the farm stand located on Main Street in South Glastonbury.
In 1980, Gino's son, Darrell, the third generation of the family, bought his Uncle Andrew's share of Hi-Ground Orchards and became his father's partner. The business was re-named to the current E. Draghi & Sons, LLC. They began a new endeavor, which would become a major part of their business. Darrell learned the greenhouse business and built greenhouses and began growing flowers. Now there are six greenhouses on the farm stand property, including a large, state-of-the art greenhouse which is used as the sales house. There is also a bakery in the farm stand where fresh pies, muffins, pastries, cookies, sweet and savory breads, quiches and much more are baked daily.
Although the business is now solely owned by Darrell, his Father Gino is a constant help as well as his Mother Sandra and his Sister Cheryl. In addition to Darrell and his family, “Draghi's” hires people to serve their customers. Draghis strives to provide quality merchandise and a high level of customer service.