Andrea Salumeria - 247 Central Avenue, Jersey City
Business Owner: Pete SorianoJanuary 2008
Everyone from police officers grabbing sandwiches on their break to seniors looking for a unique variety of olives from Italy can find what they need and be greeted with a smile at Andrea Salumeria. Owner Pete Soriano took over the business in 2004, carrying on a tradition that started back in 1975 when his uncle Andrea opened the business at 247 Central Avenue. “I started out working here when I was 15, sweeping floors after school to help him out. He taught me pretty much everything I know,” he said. The business continues to be a family enterprise; Pete’s sister Nora Mazzola helps out most days, and Uncle Andrea still comes and lends a hand every Saturday.
Customers at Andrea Salumeria can find the soups, sandwiches and salads typical of any Italian deli, but they might notice that those familiar items taste unusually fresh. Pete has cold cuts delivered four times a week and gets daily deliveries of other perishable items. “It’s a little bit more work, but that’s the way I want it,” he said. He also makes fresh mozzarella twice a day and prepares soups the old-fashioned way, soaking the beans overnight and using only imported pasta from Italy. But the homemade foods aren’t the only reason to visit the salumeria - across the aisle from the deli case, customers will find shelves filled with imported delicacies. “I try to have things you can’t find anywhere else - baccala, holiday cakes, dried figs...” said Pete. With all these unique offerings, it is no surprise that Andrea Salumeria was chosen as the Best Italian Deli in New Jersey by New Jersey magazine in 2007.
Soriano’s clientele has changed over the years as many Italian residents of the Heights have gotten older and new neighbors have moved in. But the deli is still famous - one customer told him that he overheard someone pining after an Andrea sandwich on a beach in Aruba! Fortunately, Andrea fans the world over can count on the salumeria being here on Central Avenue for many years to come. “I would like to keep the business going as long as possible” Pete said, noting that while he could expand, he’s content to stay right here where he can continue to “welcome everyone with open arms.”
For more info, check out the Business Spotlight on Andrea Salumeria by ChicpeaJC.