Visitors will notice the crisp chef hat with the blue stripe.
It adorned the head of Bloomfield Groceria owner Rich Trocchio as he created a made-to-order hoagie for a customer Thursday.
“You remember Isaly’s?” he asked, referring to one of Pittsburgh iconic family-owned dairies and restaurants. “This is an old Isaly’s hat. It’s a classic.”
Trocchio, who recently re-opened the grocery store in the neighborhood known as “Little Italy,” drew from the past when refurbishing the old time Italian shop and neighborhood staple — Groceria Italiana. He had worked there part-time there before taking over the project. He said he tried to keep the tradition of good Italian food while updating the space.
It opened a few weeks ago.
“I still have the heart for the food business,” he said. “I love doing this. It’s about making everything fresh and treating every customer like family. Thirty years from now I will retire.”
He spent his entire career around food, including nearly three decades at Weiner World in Downtown Pittsburgh, where he was the manager. He knew the original owners of Groceria Italiana, the Collinger family, who also owned the nearby Pleasure Bar. Trocchio worked there as a youngster.
His son, Rick Trocchio, left his job in the car selling business to help his dad. The younger Trocchio had also worked at the Pleasure Bar.
“I always told my father he should do something like this,” said his son, who is from North Versailles. “With his 170 years of experience, I knew having his own business, it would be successful. And I told him I would be there to help any way I could.”
Rich Trocchio said he is not one to retire.
“I love to work,” he said. “I am really enjoying myself. I’ve tried to bring this back to the way it was. It’s fun because I have lived in Bloomfield my whole life and know a lot of the customers. I am also meeting many new people.”
Joel Lauer from Mt. Washington was in the store for the first time since it reopened. He had been a customer of Groceria Italiana.
“I used to eat here all the time,” he said. “I am so happy it’s back. The food is fresh, and everything is made to order. It’s definitely better than fast food.”
The sandwiches, soups and salads are made fresh. Spaghetti choices include cheese, meat and spinach and cheese ravioli. There are also meatballs and several sauces available. He has an olive oil bar and tasty ingredients from DeLallo Italian Marketplace in Jeannette, Pennsylvania Macaroni in the Strip District and Nappi’s Food Service in Oakdale.
Soups include chicken, wedding, beef barley and minestrone. Some of the sandwiches available are chicken fillet, triple meatball, corned beef, hot sausage, as well as ham, salami, capocolla and of course, Italian. The bread and rolls are from Sanchioli Brothers’ Bakery in Bloomfield and Cellone’s Italian Bread in Crafton.
Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (hot food served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday)
Bloomfield Groceria is at 237 Cedarville St., Bloomfield.
Details: 412-681-2200 or https://www.facebook.com/bloomfield.groceria.5