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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.


Michelle & Robert Faedo

Michelle Faedo's On-the-Go

Robert Faedo was born in 1970 in West Tampa. His Spanish ancestors immigrated to Tampa and eventually owned a dairy, a bakery, and the Caracolillo Coffee Mills. He met Michelle (born in 1975 in East Tampa from Spanish descendants) when she walked into his business, Ybor City Grocery, on 15th and Lake to apply for a cashier position. Two weeks after their first date, they decided to get married. In 1997 the couple opened Michelle Faedo’s Deli in a corner of the grocery.

After moving to a new location on 17th and 16th in Ybor City, the couple sold their bricks to the Taco Bus to move into a food truck, where they operate their business, Michelle Faedo’s On-the-Go today. Side-by-side, Robert and Michelle make and sell to various customers what they consider true “Tampanian” street food: Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, and devil crabs, in a way perhaps bringing the story of the devil crab back to the days of street vendors pushing carts and driving motorized scooters. As local crab is nearly impossible to find anymore, the Faedos source their crab from North Carolina and Crystal River, Florida when it’s in season.

Date of interview:

Sara Wood

Sara Wood

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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