LODI, N.J. -- Sixteen years after emigrating to the U.S., an Egyptian man named Adel “Andy” Hanna now owns Visentini Brothers Deli in Lodi -- and vows to make it better and more Italian than ever.
For one thing, Hanna’s mother is part Italian -- and he speaks Italian fluently. He's also hired a genuine Italian cook who emigrated from the homeland in 1968 and goes by the name Pasqual.
Another ace in the hole is Mauro Vinsentini, one of the former owners, who now works for Hanna, as do several former employees.
“I’m not Italian," says Hanna, who's operated the shop for the past two weeks, "but I’m Mediterranean, you know?”
Customers have asked him to keep the look, but Hanna believes they deserve "not just the good quality we’re going to have and going to keep but also an updated store."
Hanna plans to replace the worn shelves, fill in the empty spaces, and replace the old equipment.
“It looks nice but its 30 years old," he said. "It needs a facelift. It needs an update. It needs new equipment.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the refrigerator is 50 years old,” Hanna added, pointing to the unit that holds beer, wine, soft drinks and desserts.
"I see potential. A lot can be done here," he said.
Visenti Brothers ( 256 Union St. ) is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. CALL: (973) 777-1427
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