A Step Above
From head to toe, Ventresca Ltd. has the finest menswear in the suburbs
by Phil Gianficaro

Frank Ventresca is the menswear equivalent to those precocious toddlers who shadow their baseball-playing fathers around Major League clubhouses and batting cages.


The founder and proprietor of Ventresca Ltd., an upscale men’s clothing store in Doylestown, was reared at the knee of style, with his father and grandfather (on his mother’s side) making names for themselves as prominent custom tailors.


“You grow up with a father who’s a tailor and you’re always in his shop, so clothing is what you know,” says Frank Ventresca, 54, who’ll celebrate the 30th anniversary of his men’s shop in October. “I was always fascinated with business. … So I graduated from high school, went to work for my father, and saw how the business operated.”


Seven years later, in 1981, Ventresca set out on his own, opening a men’s store in Jenkintown: Ventresca Ltd. A strong emphasis on customer service and attention to detail, combined with his business acumen and sense of style, helped his establishment thrive for years. Ventresca was the place in the Philadelphia suburbs for the finest in expertly fitted and tailored, upper-end, name-brand suits, shirts and slacks, as well as formal wear, neckwear, footwear, leather wallets and accessories.


But over the years the retail climate declined in Jenkintown, once a shopping mecca for those interested in high-end items but not interested in the hustle and bustle of the city. Doylestown was changing, too, from a rural suburban community to one sprouting with commercial development, school expansions and young families.


Six years ago, Ventresca made a decision. He relocated his fine clothing store to his native Doylestown. By then, his brother, Len, had taken over his father’s business on State Street, and suggested he and Frank should combine their businesses and set up shop where it all began.


After months of remodeling and expanding the old State Street footprint, Ventresca Ltd. continues to be the place for the finest formal wear and men’s clothing, offering an expansive selection of sophisticated brands, including Brioni, Corneliani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Daniel and Co., d’Avenza, Studio Milano, Robert Graham, Nat Nast and HUGO BOSS.


‘All the Difference’

Ventresca knows that a solid foundation is the surest way to ensure continued success. The same holds true for footwear, the foundation of a stylish look. The most exquisite-looking suit or clothing ensemble can lose its appeal with the wrong pair of shoes. To that end, Ventresca Ltd. carries a wide selection of the finest footwear in the world, from casual to dress, weekend to formal wear. The line includes Santoni, Donald J Pliner, Auri, Robert Zur, Cole Haan and Allen Edmonds.


“Some men feel that footwear is just another accessory,” Ventresca says. “What happens is, men wear shoes that aren’t polished or are heavily worn, not realizing how deteriorated they’ve become. Most women will look at men’s footwear because they have an interest in footwear. It’s important to them; it finishes off their appearance.


“Also, many people put on shoes just because they’re the ones in their closet, even though they may not be appropriate for the suit or clothes they’re wearing. The right footwear can make all the difference.”


Ventresca has also begun re-offering a pair of old favorites: Hush Puppies and Keds. “What’s old is new again,” Ventresca says. “Hush Puppies are a great, comfortable shoe that goes excellent with jeans and weekend wear.”


Attention to detail is a hallmark of the Ventresca Ltd. brand. No matter his needs, each Ventresca patron is expertly fitted and tailored by the store’s European-trained tailors. Patrons are treated like family by 12 full-time and six part-time employees, who have a minimum of 10 years of experience at the shop, including manager Tyrone Ebo, who has been with Ventresca Ltd. for 22 years.


“The continuity of our staff makes a difference for our customers,” Ventresca says. “Our tailors have been with us a long time, from 10 to 23 years. … Department stores offer a lot of products, but there’s a lot of turnover in personnel. If something goes wrong for a customer there, the employee isn’t likely to care as much because they’re probably not making a career there.


“But if something goes wrong in our store, our staff will make sure to make it right. When customers see that kind of attention to their needs, they feel appreciated and are likely to become repeat customers. It’s just the right way to treat the people who walk into our store.”


Ventresca Ltd. has been the go-to menswear shop in the Philadelphia suburbs for 30 years, with a staff that’s among the best in the industry—anywhere. On Oct. 8, and in conjunction with its 30th anniversary, Ventresca Ltd. will debut a Made in the USA event, with items that will be priced at entry and middle level.


“Where most of our clothing over the years was European made, we feel the time is right to also offer products made in the USA,” Ventresca says. “We’re adding clothing by Hart Schaffner Marx, which is made in Chicago, and Hickey Freeman, which is made in Rochester, N.Y. We’re also expanding our line from Allen Edmonds, a footwear company from Wisconsin, for the Made in the USA event.


“We have a stronger sensitivity to be more supportive to USA products to help provide jobs,” Ventresca says.


Like many businesses, Ventresca Ltd. was affected by the economic downturn that began in 2008, and an adjustment was made both in staff and inventory to help get it navigate the seemingly uncertain waters.


“If people haven’t visited our store in the last three years, I invite them to come see us again,” Ventresca says. “Our whole operation was modified to help us survive the downtimes. … People who come in [today] are going to notice a big difference.”


Ventresca Ltd.

145 W. State St.

Doylestown, PA 18901Phone: 215-348-3139

Email: info@ventresca.com

Website: www.ventresca.com


Store hours

Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Phil Gianficaro is an award-winning writer based in Doylestown.

Kim Billingsley is a freelance photographer based in Doylestown.