There had to be a New Jersey-style deli at the corner of Caruso Road and State Road 70.
Business partners Brenda Edens and Kirk Henry knew a year ago, when they found a vacant building at 5913 53rd Ave. E. and began planning Petrosino’s Italian Deli & Market.
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The new deli, named after Henry’s great-grandfather in Florence, Italy, recently opened. Appreciative customers have been packing the place ever since.
“The business is so good. We have grown very fast and are feeling blessed to be able to bring this concept to the Bradenton area,” Edens said.
“People really wanted this more than we thought,” she said of the new business located just west of Manatee Technical College.
Henry, however, said that he was not surprised, sensing customer anticipation during the long buildup to opening Petrosino’s.
“It’s taken so long to open this place and we have been pretty involved in the community the whole way through. It’s been about a year now. I really knew there was a need in the community for this,” he said.
“Being from New Jersey and looking for the things I want, and I wasn’t able to find them, I knew the community needed it. So I wasn’t surprised. The community has embraced it.”
Edens and Henry carefully planned the new deli, incorporating everything from the delis Henry remembered in Middletown, N.J., to their shared love of Frank Sinatra.
A 1938 police booking photo of Old Blue Eyes is on one wall and Sinatra music plays on the store’s sound system.
Henry, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, serves as chef. His culinary skills are reflected in the menu offerings.
The menu includes salads, sandwiches, entrees, pizza trays, desserts and beverages.
Sandwiches range in price from $5.99 for a half to $11.99 for a full. Among the sandwich offerings: The Jersey Boys (parmesan-style meatball, chicken, veal or eggplant), The Philly (shaved ribeye, sauteed onions, white American cheese, served on a crusty Italian roll, or pizzaiola with tomatoes and cherry tomatoes) and many more.
Other choices include The Big Mel (fried eggplant with fresh mozzarella, pesto and roasted peppers) the Petrosino Burger and the Don Cici (a veal cutlet with fresh mozzarella and roasted sweet and hot peppers).
Entrees, starting at $9.99, include lasagna, eggplant rollatini, pollo parmesan and chicken marsala.
The owners are also partial to their Roman pizza tray offerings and specialty pizza trays, dispensed from a 16-foot-long pizza bar.
Roman style pizza dough takes three days to prepare and helps produce a light and airy crust.
And yes, there are classic desserts, too, such as cannoli, cheese cake and tiramisu.
Also available: imported specialty Italian food, wine, grocery market items, Italian cookies and premium cakes, and fresh Italian bread.
Petrosino’s is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information, call 941-251-7266 or visit petrosinositalianmarket.com.