How long ago did you start at Cioffi’s?
I started working with my father at the age of 8 by washing dishes and making espressos for his best friends. When my father ventured on his own to start Cioffi’s Meat Market and Deli it was mandatory that I get off the east end streets and spend my off-school hours working at the family store by cleaning the shop, washing dishes, stocking shelves and making coffees.
How has Cioffi's changed over the years?
My brother and I have put a significant amount of time and effort in growing the business of Cioffi’s. Initially, when we started the business we would average 20-30 customers a day, I now see over 500 customers daily. I am forever grateful to all our customers for the continued support, especially those who have been loyal to us since the beginning.
Why do you like working at Cioffi’s?
I love seeing the pleasant loyal customers day in and day out. They truly make my day at Cioffi’s and this is what I live for.
Can you tell us a few of your favourite products from Cioffi’s?
My absolute all-time favourite is my dad’s famous recipe for the traditional spicy Italian sausage, made of natural ground pork and a compilation of the finest spices. Secondly, I have a newfound appreciation for the artisanal craft that goes into manufacturing the Parma prosciutto we sell in our deli. I was fortunate enough to visit Parma, Italy to see the amount of work and care that goes into each individual prosciutto and the taste is out of this world! The air of the Parma valley makes this a golden jewel. I believe eating healthy is crucial to my well being therefore when I am at home I thoroughly enjoy grilling up some free-range boneless skinless chicken breasts, from our meat market, with our finest extra virgin olive oils from Sicily, snacking on organic almonds, and indulging in the finest of cheeses. My absolute favourites include Parmigiano-Reggiano and our vintage cheddars!
Describe the best meal you've ever eaten...
It was under the stars near the ponte vecchio in Florence at a family run restaurant named Il Santo Bevitore. It was like a living dream. The meal started with Burrata cheese from the Campania region of Italy, the same one we sell in store, then I enjoyed fresh grilled octopus from the Mediterranean Sea over a panzanella salad. I also indulged in a homemade cavatelli pasta in a San Marzano tomato sauce topped with creamy smoked Cacciocavallo cheese. The restaurant was very reminiscent of Cioffi’s as it was very old school meets new school…there were ladies in the kitchen slicing salami and prosciutto hanging from the ceiling. The night was finished off with a delicious Italian gelato recommended to us from relatives in Italy. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and I often recreate this night in my own kitchen with ingredients from Cioffi’s. I’m proud that we can bring these traditional Italian flavours and delicacies to Vancouver.