For Phil Mortillaro (above right), locksmithing was a summer job that turned into a lifelong passion. He started in the trade shortly after he left school in the 8th grade.

All five of his children spent time in his Greenwich Village shop, but only his youngest son, Philip (above left), has followed in his father’s footsteps.

Philip Jr with his grandmother, Helga Lumen, at Greenwich Locksmiths in 1987.

Father and son sat down for a conversation at StoryCorps to talk about the family business.

Philip Jr. and Phil Mortillaro at Greenwich Locksmiths in 2023. Photo by Brian Pape for The Village View.
Top Photo: Philip Jr. and Phil Mortillaro at their family business, Greenwich Locksmiths, in Manhattan in 2014. Photo by Von Diaz for StoryCorps.

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally aired October 17, 2014 and November 24, 2023, on NPR’s Morning Edition.