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Mary Ellen Thornton Rosetti

Born in 1920 to William and Mary E Witt Thornton, Mary Ellen Thornton was a lifelong native of Biloxi whose life was enveloped in the seafood industry.

As many young people did in that era, Mary Ellen left school and began working in the seafood factories in her teen years. She later met and married John M. “Bruno” Rosetti, a Biloxi fisherman. Together, they set up their homestead in the Point Cadet area and began their family. Bruno and Mary Ellen, often referred to as “Mamie” worked on boats and in factories to support their sons.

In 1951, John and his brother-in-law were able to rent a building on Division Street and start “Quality Poultry and Seafood Market”. They later built their own building on the corner of Caillavet and Oak streets. Bruno and Mamie then dedicated their lives to the success of the business. Their sons also worked even as they attended their studies to obtain their college degrees. After the passing of John in 1980, Mary Ellen and their son, Clell, continued to operate the business with Mary Ellen serving in the store and as the bookkeeper.

When the city took over the rights to the land, a new building was built, and the market was moved to the corner of Caillavet and Division streets where it is located today.

Mamie, a devout Catholic and member of Sacred Heart Church in D’Iberville, was also a member of the Slavic Benevolent Association Women’s Auxiliary.

The legacy of Mamie and Bruno, Quality Poultry and Seafood Market, has now grown to a multimillion-dollar business at the hands of their well taught sons and grandchildren. Mamie’s hard work and dedication to the Gulf Coast’s seafood industry are recognized with her induction as ‘tradesman’ in the Heritage Hall of Fame.


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