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This article was published 20/7/2018 (485 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Coffee, cheese and chocolate connoisseurs should start firing up their GPS to find De Luca’s Specialty Foods’ new location at 66 South Landing in the RM of Macdonald.
Marco De Luca said the grand opening of the new location is planned for Sat., Aug. 25 and Sun., Aug. 26. While he hopes to keep the regular clientele at the family’s first location at 950 Portage Ave., he believes the new site will attract the many commuters who use McGillivray Boulevard to get to and from work, school and leisure activities.
The new 40,000 square-foot building is set in an industrial park adjacent to McGillivray. De Luca said the family purchased the land a few years ago and has taken time to develop the new location.
"We’ve been looking for a bigger location for about seven to eight years," De Luca said. "We looked all over the city."
The site in the RM of Macdonald is just a few kilometres past the City of Winnipeg’s boundary. With the growing residential developments in the city’s southwestern corner, De Luca said the company’s customer base will keep increasing.
"We’re outside the City limits, but still very close," he said.
Looking out the window at the fields that surround the property, he said, "We took a leap of faith, but I think it’s the right decision."
The De Luca family business began in 1969 and gradually grew to include a grocery, restaurant and cooking school at 950 Portage Ave. The wholesale business had to be situated elsewhere and was on King Edward Street, then McPhillips Avenue in Winnipeg.
The coffee roasting operation began about 20 years ago and was most recently situated in Teulon, Man.
The new building includes a retail space at the front of the main floor which will house a meat counter with a butcher where freshly cut meats and a selection of homemade and imported sausages. Fresh pizza will be baked in two pizza ovens, and freshly-made and ready-to-eat entrees will be available.
The grocery area will include a wide choice of olive oils, vinegars, pasta and European specialty items.
A front corner will house the many espresso and cappuccino machines and coffee brewing equipment that the company sells.
"We didn’t have a showroom to showcase our machines before," De Luca said.
As well as selling espresso and cappuccino equipment, De Luca’s also offers repair service with a workshop space set aside for that purpose.
This coffee equipment area will also feature the De Luca branded coffee that is roasted in a large work area behind the retail section.
De Luca’s father Peter, who oversees the coffee roastery, is happy that he doesn’t have to travel back and forth to Teulon anymore. The new premises hold sacks filled with certified fair trade green coffee beans from around the world. Peter roasts each variety according to its unique characteristics and then the roasted beans are allowed to age and de-gas.
"We sell them as single origin or as blends," Peter said.
A specialized conveyor/ auger system is used to transport the roasted whole or ground beans for packaging. De Luca’s coffee is available in various package sizes including one-pot packages suitable for hotel and restaurant use.
A small café area will sell freshly brewed coffee and homemade pastries. De Luca said special coffee tasting events are planned to highlight the company’s various blends.
"We want to make this a destination," De Luca said.
The majority of the new building is dedicated to housing the company’s wholesale business. De Luca said the company sells its branded products to groceries, delis, hotels and restaurants across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario,
"Cheese and coffee are our biggest products," De Luca said.
The extra room will allow the De Lucas to increase their wholesale business.
"We have plenty of space," he said, adding that, unlike at 950 Portage Ave., customers will find lots of free parking close to the building.
Community journalist — The Headliner
Andrea Geary is the community journalist for The Headliner. Email her at email@example.com Call her at 204-697-7124