When a business changes hands it is often a cause for concern – especially if the business was really good. Pasqualina’s Italian Market and Deli in Blooming Glen now has new owners as of October 15 – Pete Lochetta and his sister, Fran Cardaci.
Pasqualina’s has always been a favorite spot for me since I wrote about this unique Italian deli a few years ago. Owner Patty Gianfelice served up delicious sandwiches and Italian dishes while selling a wide array of Italian specialty food items, a great selection of cheeses, olive oil and even homemade pizelles. None of that will change under the new owners, thankfully. In fact, Lochetta aims to expand the store’s offerings.
“I’ve always had an interest in cooking,” says Lochetta, “I grew up watching my mother in the kitchen.” The Lochettas did a lot of entertaining and delicious Italian food was always a part of it. Lochetta’s grandfather and uncle ran stores similar to Pasqualina’s in Philadelphia too so it’s kind of in his blood.
“My sister and I have been talking about doing this for years,” he explains. The right time came when Lochetta finally tired of his corporate job, which demanded a lot of travel and time away from his family. “It was time to slow down and be home with my sons,” he says. Lochetta is a local boy too, growing up in Doylestown and attending Central Bucks East. He now lives in Plumstead.
Lochetta is excited about taking over Pasqualina’s to be certain. Recognizing what a gem Patty Gianfelice created – including a loyal customer base – he plans to take it even further. “We want to make a lot more prepared foods, do more catering and make everything in-house,” he explains. He’ll pull in ingredients from North Jersey, New York and South Philly and increase his suppliers over all. Look for over 65 different cheeses that will change every week (and you can sample in-store).
They will also bring in another freezer to stock prepared foods so consider stopping by to pick up a convenient Sunday dinner of veal parmesan, chicken cutlets, sauce and more. Want to make the meal yourself? Lochetta’s aim is to enable customers to buy all the ingredients so he’ll be stocking produce too. Buying local is also important. They are currently getting meats from Tussock Sedge Farm, just down the road, and Haring Brothers in Danboro. “We’re trying to buy all commodity items local,” says Lochetta, including local produce from farms like None Such in Buckingham. The new Pasqualina’s will also have even more extra virgin olive oils, pastas and Italian specialty foods. “We plan to expand the price range too,” says Lochetta.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the new owners want to physically expand the space as well. Fortunately there is space in the unique brick building that houses the market. “We want to make outdoor seating on the patio,” says Lochetta, and put some cafe tables in the building lobby too.
In the end, it’s all about family. “I want my sons to experience the tradition. I want to show them what I grew up with,” says Lochetta. And in that way, he and his sister are truly continuing Patty Gianfelice’s vision for Pasqualina’s – to provide good, authentic, delicious Italian food for their customers.