If the turnout for the grand opening was any indication, the expansion of De Luca’s Specialty Foods should be a resounding success.
The family-run and owned business will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year on Portage Avenue near downtown but it’s hoping its next half-century will be even better, thanks to a multimillion-dollar expansion in the city’s south end.
Several hundred people sampled a variety of foods, including meatballs, pizza and cheese and sparkling wine at the late-August grand opening. They milled around aisles and shelves filled with a wide variety of Mediterranean foods and sauces and sipped on coffee, lots and lots of coffee. The new 42,000-square-foot location just west of Whyte Ridge, one of Winnipeg’s newest and most affluent neighbourhoods, not only has a coffee bar, but also sells coffee machines.
Marco De Luca, who heads up the company’s wholesale division, said the first pressure point that convinced the family it was time to expand was its bulging-at-the-seams 30,000-square-foot warehouse on McPhillips Street, just northwest of downtown.
Combined with a growing number of customers on Portage Avenue who were coming from south Winnipeg, they quickly decided to go closer to where the business was.
“It’s a little off the beaten path but it’s on the south side of the city. It allowed us to have a retail component and a warehouse and gave us the size we needed to showcase our coffee machines,” he said.
De Luca’s is just down the street from one of the busiest power retail centres in Winnipeg, which features Costco, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Safeway, Walmart and dozens of other storefronts.
The family also owns an adjacent 1.5-acre lot that could be put to use for future expansion.