The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

OLIVIERI families in the UK

Sisters Julie and Mary Peronia lived in Viareggio, near Lucca, in Italy. Julie married Olivo Olivieri and Mary married Freddie Fabri. They all came to Britain in the late 1920s. The Olivieri’s went to Dundee in Scotland and the Fabri’s went to Birkenhead on The Wirral, in England.

When the Mersey tunnel opened in 1934, Mrs. Fabri walked through it and wrote to her sister in Dundee remarking about the wonder of being able to walk under the sea.

Mr. and Mrs. Olivieri (who had four children, Dennis, Ronnie, Olga and Yolando) came down to Birkenhead and opened a small cafe in Old Chester Road. Later they opened the Grange Supper Bar and a cafe in Grange road. The Fabri’s had a cafe further up the road opposite the old Co-op store.

Mr. Olivieri went into the Pioneer Corps during WWII. His wife and daughters ran the cafe. When he was demobbed he stood opposite Hamilton Square station and observed that he could make a good living on this site with so many people passing by on their way to work in Lairds, Birkenhead market or the Ferries.

He formed a partnership with Ray Peers and they opened a cafe and never looked back. Their reputation for friendliness, good food and reasonable prices was second to none. Milky coffee, fresh ice-cream, knickerbocker glories were the order of the day. Bacon butties, fish and chips and their fresh meat pies were not to be missed.

Stan Olivieri is a grandson and has been in catering all his life. He did his basic training with Reece’s of Liverpool, in the restaurants and function rooms, grills and cafes. He passed his catering certificates at Colquitt Street College, Liverpool. He went to sea with Cunard Shipping Company for a while, worked at Cleaver Hospital in Heswall (now built over by Tesco), Cadburys in Moreton then was head cook at Clatterbridge Hospital. He went on to be catering manager for Gardner Merchants (Trust House Forte) for 20 years before setting up two businesses, SM&F and Olivieris.

When he finished with Gardner Merchants in 1989 he concentrated solely on his outside catering companies. His ex-wife Margaret and son Richard and daughter Helen helped in the running and development of these two businesses in the early years. Present wife Alison together with daughters Kerry and Debra are now involved in the business.

Most prospective customers still talk to him about his grand parents and their cafes. The stories go on and on. Recollections such as , met my wife there, bought my butties there, Mum and Dad bought us a knickerbockeglory still resound after all those years. Teddy Boys used to meet at Ollys to be seen and to meet their mates. 

Spanning many generations Stan Olivieri is very proud of his heritage and how so many people remember the original cafes and snack bars.


2 Responses to “OLIVIERI families in the UK”

  1. Annette says:

    My dad and uncles always went to olis cafe ,when they worked in lairds,and I ate there (facing Hamilton square) when I worked in little woods pools in the 70s ,lovely food ,lovely staff

  2. norma alari says:

    Hello. Just read your website and can offer the following details regarding Olivio Olivieri. He was in Dunfermline in 1923 at 125 Baldridgeburn (it is an area of Dunfermline). His daughter Oliver Ulanda was born at that address in December 1923.Olivio rented a shop from my grandfather – Amos Alari at 28 Rumblingwell (again Dunfermline).
    The family moved to Saline where a son, Denis was born. My grandfather was his godfather on 27 April 1927(a record exists in the baptismal book at Holy Name RC Church, Oakley. A son Rinato Paris was born in Dundee (21 Carnegie Street) on 6 June (possibly 1928).
    Spellings are as read on documents.

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