One icy winter night in 2004, Christina Passalacqua, a third-year pharmacy student at Northeastern University, hopped on a packed E train on Boston’s Green Line with her roommate to run an errand. “I was wearing brown snow boots, and I had a black bag,” she remembers. “It’s super crowded; I’m standing in some stranger’s armpit. And my roommate starts on my case, saying ‘I can’t believe you left the house with that bag and shoe combination.’”
The armpit belonged to Ken Procaccianti, who was a few years ahead of Christina at Northeastern studying international affairs and philosophy. Hearing the exchange, he chimed in: “Well, I think you’re pretty, even if you don’t match.”
A few years later, he proposed on the same train line, in front of friends and family who had hidden themselves behind newspapers at the subway platform. They were married in 2008. And though the couple soon moved to Wakefield, Rhode Island —about two hours away from Northeastern —to start a family, they weren’t finished with that E train.
Ken and Christina Procaccianti are founders and co-CEOs of Green Line Apothecary, an independent pharmacy and vintage soda shop with two locations and a statewide delivery service in Rhode Island. Opened in 2016 in a small Wakefield storefront with a staff of four, the company has grown to over 100 employees in Wakefield and Providence, including a fleet of pharmacists, a food and beverage coordinator, soda jerks dressed in green-and-white-striped uniforms, and a few dozen delivery drivers.