Member Login

Premium Content

Photo from Peluso's Market Used to Hang in Hotels Across the Country

A photo of Frances Peluso standing in front of her family's namesake grocery on Monmouth Street in Newport was used for years as a standard picture on display in areas of Hilton-brand hotels.

Now, one such image will be placed in Peluso's Market.

The Hampton Inn and Suites invited the Peluso family to a ceremony on Friday to present the photo to Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso. He had been trying to track down a copy of the photo of his mother for ages.

The black and white picture features Frances Peluso smiling in front of the market, holding a bouquet of flowers. It was captured by a traveling photographer hoping to take in a hometown feeling. 

The photo was displayed in Hilton hotels across America, including around 17 in Kentucky.

One Peluso family member present on Friday said visitors to the long-running store would mention that they had seen the photo hanging in a hotel.

Valarie Orr, vice president of operations at the Newport Hampton Inn, said that one of the reasons the picture was so hard to find was because it would have only been available to a Hilton property and the photograph had been discontinued in order to update the hotel chain’s image. Hampton was acquired by Hilton in 1999.

“This item was no longer available, not only to the public, but to the Hiltons as well,” Orr said. “I spent about three weeks going through more than 2,200 1”x1” proofs looking for Peluso’s Market with no idea of what the mayor’s mother looked like. It was truly like finding a needle in the haystack.” 

The photo has great sentimental value to Mayor Peluso because his mother now has dementia and rarely smiles. The 91-year old was also present on Friday.

After the photo was unveiled, Mayor Peluso turned to the hotel’s owners Shaun Pan and Steve Chen to show his appreciation. 

“I just want to thank you on behalf of the Peluso family,” he said. “We don’t have a spot for it in the market yet, but I’m sure we will find one.”

Orr said that she was happy to track down the picture for Newport’s mayor because of the tremendous help he and the city commission have been for the hotel’s success. 

“This spot used to be a Travel-Lodge, and it was one of the worst-rated hotels in the region,” Orr said. “Now it is a Hilton Lighthouse Award-Winning destination and ranked in the top 2-percent across the nation for Hampton brands.” 

Written by Connor Wall, associate editor