Italian owner of downtown delicatessen and cafe grateful for customer support during pandemic

AN ITALIAN delicatessen owner in Swindon town center celebrates his eighth year with the business after battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Paolo Cianci moved DaPaolo Delicatessen and Cafe to his Commercial Road home in 2014 after working at a New York wine store until 2004 and asking celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo to visit Old Town’s Fabio restaurant in 2012.

In these turbulent times, in which he lost thousands of pounds, struggled to break even and his business partner left, Paolo was supported by loyal repeat customers who ordered deliveries as the store was closed during shutdowns, tried the new cafe space last fall, and attended its full wine tasting classes

He told Adver: “It’s been very difficult for me and all the other small businesses to pay the bills, but I’m so grateful to my customers for their help and loyalty that I wouldn’t have made it without it. them.

“I thought the pandemic would last a few months, but we are almost in its third year now. I’ve been very careful what I buy, I can’t afford to stretch or waste anything.

“This part of the city is well located, but sometimes it feels like no man’s land, with the tent market closed. I still manage to survive, like a gladiator in the arena.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years in total and I love my job, that’s why I don’t give up easily – and if I stayed home I don’t know what I would do. I just finished paying back the loan I took out to start this delicatessen and I have ideas for the future.

DaPaolo Delicatessen has just added a coffee area

He and an investor had planned to create a website selling rare wines and transform part of his shop to expand his wine offering, but the pandemic derailed the plans

The Swindon Wine Merchants website is up and running, albeit unfinished, and he still hopes to find an investment partner to kick-start the store’s refurbishment.

Paolo added: “This is what Swindon needs, it’s something different, a winery, a patisserie and a cafe. Everywhere they sell pasta but I’m a wine merchant, that’s what I know.

“I could help people find the ones they like instead of going to the supermarket and picking out one that looks good. I just want to find someone to work with me on my projects and pass that energy on to someone else.

DaPaolo Delicatessen on Commercial Road

DaPaolo Delicatessen on Commercial Road

Joseph P. Harris