Where In Verona Is It? It’s Mardi Gras


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A lot of people spend their whole lives in Verona, sometimes following parents and grandparents who lived here their whole lives too. But folks do move to town and in 1985, Jeff Shilling was one of those newcomers, moving here from New Providence with his wife, who is from Summit. The Shilling’s son and two daughters went through the Verona school system, from F.N. Brown right through VHS.

New businesses owners come to Verona, too. Maria Carrozza came here from Fairfield three years ago, buying Mardi Gras Fine Foods with her brother, Antonio Carrozza and sister Angela Gillespie after the catering and takeout shop’s founders retired. Now this week, the new business owner and the no-so-new newcomer come together as the location and winner of week 22 of the Where In Verona contest. In an odd twist of fate, Maria Carrozza was the winner of Week 11 of the Where In Verona contest, which had, until this week, been the contest with the most wrong answers.

“The background of the first picture was what was familiar to me, only I couldn’t place it at the time,” says Shilling, who was competing against his daughter Julie for the hat. “The cookies refreshed my memory.”

Like Charlie Marion, who won this year’s Holiday Lights contest, Jeff Shilling is one of those Veronans you may not know you know. Shilling served on the Verona Rescue Squad shortly after moving here and rejoined the Squad four  years ago after realizing, he says, “how much I missed it from watching my daughter Michele answer calls.” (She had joined two years earlier and recently resigned after more than five years of service due to a heavy workload at her job.)  “I have to say that my favorite place to be in Verona is in the ambulance helping our neighbors who need us,” says Jeff Shilling. “It is a very gratifying feeling.”

You can see all of Fred Goode’s shots of Mardi Gras in the slideshow below. One note about that first photo, which had lead many contest participants to think that we were at a pediatrician’s office, a day care center or a veterinarian. It’s actually a “Mommy Bus”, a stylish new pet carrier that Maria Carrozza is helping a friend to promote. You can read more about it here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. Not what it used to be. Stopped in recently to purchase {what used to be amongst the best cookies around) I was dissapointed with the service and the quality of the product sold. Although admittedly not a weekly customer, I have ordered my share of cakes etc. for over 20years.
    In an area surrounded by Whole Foods and proximity to Montclair’s array of goods, a small business should strive to expand their customer base (i.e. service ). It seems the business model needs an update. Lets hope it does; because small towns are always better off with small businesses in it.


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