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After four years, Chef Anthony’s reluctantly bows out

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by Anthony Stella
Guest Columnist

Almost four years ago to the day, Amy and I purchased what is now Chef Anthony’s Italian Market in Chadds Ford, Pa. We had a vision of a small business that would offer the best Italian food and products, while at the same time provide great service to our customers.

Our plan was simple:  Build a strong team based on family values, treat them with respect and pay them well. In our mission statement, customer service was our top priority. To round out our business plan, we agreed that we would support our community in any way that we could.

So we set out in June 2012 with these goals and we are proud to say that we lived up to each of them. We have been blessed to work with a talented and amazing team of employees and we have so enjoyed all the wonderful people we have come to know and have served along the way. Without their support and the support of our family, especially my mother and father I don’t know where we would be today.

Naturally, part of any business plan is to “turn a profit” but unfortunately the competition from the mega-stores has become too much for us to bear. The decision to close has been one of the hardest things we have ever had to do because we still believe in our mission and in our people as much today as we did four years ago.

We would be remiss if we did not thank our suppliers, many of whom are also small businesses that are struggling to compete with the mega-stores. They have been so kind and patient with us as we struggled to pay our bills. Talluto’s Pasta, Springfield Pasta, Ingredients for Bakers, American Beauty Produce, Fierro Cheese, Berry Refrigeration, Nickle Electric, Juliano’s Breads, Anthony J. Savarese, Master Foods, US Foods, DiGiacomo Bros., BK Foods, DiBruno Brothers, Cento Foods, Hypoint Dairy and many more.

And finally, we must thank our landlord Dominic Pileggi. What a great man: Dominic has been like no other landlord I have met in all my years in real estate and in the food business. He has been attentive, kind and so patient while we struggled through the past eight months.

This chapter of our lives has been filled with joy and sorrow, but the joy has exceeded the sorrow many times over. The bonds we have made with our team, who are now part of our family, will last for a lifetime; they are the people we will miss the most.

On behalf of Amy and our family at Chef Anthony’s Italian Market, thank you and best wishes.

On June 19, Chef Anthony’s Italian Market opened its store with full services for the last time. The store will be open until June 24 so that the Stellas can sell the remainder of their inventory, including fixtures and equipment, at cost.

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