Our Story

Claire LaPia and Frank Criscuolo were married on February 22, 1975. Claire was a registered nurse and Frank was a musician who played bass and lead guitar. Deeply in love, they wanted to be together as much as possible and working together was the way to accomplish that goal. Claire loved to cook and while they were both raised in traditional Italian-American families, each in a family of really good cooks and bakers, Claire's mother, Anna Bigio LaPia was “obsessed” with eating delicious, fresh foods, homemade food, with lots of fruits and vegetables, grains and beans. “Eat this, it's good for you” and “We don't eat foods with ingredients I can't pronounce” were her mantras. Claire wanted to cook that way for the masses. She and Frank believed and still believe that eating well really is the best defense against illness and disease. Today, scientific research supports that theory. Mother was right!

Claire and Frank Criscuolo opened Claire's Corner Copia on September 17, 1975.

We are so proud of the way we conduct our business, of our brilliant staff, our beloved community, and of YOU, the people who support this mission of ours, this crazy experiment that started out with two people in love wanting to bring real food to lots of people, while supporting a community.  Thank you and Bless You for letting us realize our dream and for allowing us to do what we love for more than four decades!    

Kosher Certification

Claire’s Corner Copia is certified Dairy Kosher by Rabbi David Avigdor and Rabbi Hyman of the Vaad of Fairfield County. Rabbi Avigdor is an Orthodox Rabbi from Congregation Bikur Cholim Sheveth Achim Synagogue, a thirty year member of the R.C.A., and, the regional Vice President of Agudath Israel. At Claire’s all greens and vegetables are washed and inspected for bugs. We use candled eggs and as a secondary measure check each egg for blood spots before use. 

For more information please feel free to call us at the restaurant at 203-562-3888 or Rabbi Avigdor directly at 203-671-7044.

Environmental Initiatives

Taking care of the environment is not only a pressing political matter, but a real concern in the daily lives of businesses as we attempt to decrease our carbon footprint. As new ways to help arise, we are sure to continue to do our part. So far, we've taken the following actions:

  • We've always used paper, rather than styrofoam containers or plastic for our take-out bags

  • We make our own natural kitchen cleaners for windows and floors.

  • In 2006, we switched to Energy Star lighting.

  • In 2007, we switched to compostable cups and take out boxes made from corn, and printed with soy ink.

  • In May 2008, we switched to a low water use dishwasher.

  • We verify that any plastics we use are BPA free - including our register receipts.

  • We have a long history of following the Environmental Working Group and use their recommendations regarding organic foods.

  • We have said NO to GMO's - we verify! Sourcing organic foods makes our job easier :-)

  • We try our best to reuse and to avoid waste as much of possible.

  • We're always on the look out for new ways to be better citizens and we are hopeful for a bright future for our children and for all who follow us.

  • In 2015, we replaced our light bulbs with LED bulbs

  • In 2017 and beyond, we switched to compostable cake-to-go containers, napkins, take-out forks, spoons, etc.

Press and Love

One of the 10 best heart-healthy restaurants in America
Best of in: Quiche, Vegetarian Restaurant
— Connecticut Magazine
Best of in: Vegetarian Restaurant, Connecticut Magazine

August, 2014

Claire Criscuolo received the Organic Leadership Award from NOFA (New England Organic Food Association) for her support of organic farmers. The event was held at the magnificent Winvian Resort in Morris Connecticut, where they maintain gorgeous organic gardens. 

New Haven named Top Foodie City of 2014!   - Livability.com

Noted restaurants listed were:

Pepe's Pizza, Louis's Lunch, and Claire's Corner Copia. We are so honored and grateful to our wonderful customers for their support, to our beloved staff, our organic farmers and other local producers (we love our local ricotta:-), and to our friends at Yale University for helping to make this city we love a better place for all. 

"Our bottom line is people, and when you care about people, you want to feed them real food." -

-Claire Criscuolo,  chef/co-founder with Frank Criscuolo

November, 2017

November 30, 2017, Forbes.com  Michael Alpiner wrote about his weekend in New Haven. He wrote about the beautiful Yale campus, and art galleries, and he included a visit to Claire's Corner Copia during his trip: This is what he wrote about us:-)

Claire's Corner Copia also maintains an aura of "the good old days" as its chef and owner Claire Criscuolo creates a variety of foods that embody the traditions handed down from her past. However, she stays contemporary by advertising her establishment as selling organic and sustainable, vegetarian and vegan food: 21st century concerns with a mid-20th century charm.