Filomena Silvestri, St. Mark’s Pl. vegan ‘Earth Mother,’ dies at 94

Filomena Silvestri, who with her son, Peter, ran the Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen at 130 St. Mark’s Pl., died on Sept. 26 at age 94. The Silvestris started their vegan food shop at 70 Spring St. in 1978, but, after Soho became upscale, moved it to St. Mark’s Pl. in the East Village in June 1991.

During the past year, Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen fought closure after receiving an eviction notice from the building’s management company. But the community responded with a petition with 1,000 signatures in support of the food shop, and local politicians, including Councilmember Rosie Mendez and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, also went to bat for Whole Earth. As a result of the pressure, the shop got an extension until the end of the year, but its fate remains uncertain.

Filomena Silvestri is survived by three children, five grandchildren and great-grandchildren.