15 Cambell Ave. Troy, NY 12180
By Ian Benjamin
POSTED: 05/13/13, 4:45 PM EDT | UPDATED: ON 05/13/2013
After emptying the bank, longtime Troy resident Carlo Bruno opened Carluccio's Italian Delicatessen at 15 Campbell Ave. last month, inside the space that once housed Barna's Superette-Delicatessen. We caught up with Bruno last week after closing to discuss Italians, cooking, and the new venture. Carluccio's is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, with delivery offered. Their phone number is 272-3354.
Q How'd you come into this business?
A As a kid, my mother cooked, she was from Italy, I lived in Italy for a year with my grandmother. I was always around food. My grandmother at the table cooking sausage right in the oven that was built into the wall and her apartment was as big as this storefront. We were cooking sausages and chickens and she had her own pig and I remember that when I was five or six years old killing a pig in February because that's when you killed them. You had no fridge. Everything was packed away in oil for the winter. All your cured meats and vegetables were pickled. That's what food was about. You took care of it because that's what you needed to feed your family. I think that aspect has been lost. That's just with the time.
Q And this place here...?
A I'm trying to bring a little of that back. Eventually, hopefully with time I can do my own cured meats. If, God willing, I have the room and the time, I want to do my own cured salamis and prosciuttos in this back room because it's cool in the wintertime. You know, maybe make some cheeses, but that's down the road. Little by little.
Q Why this spot? Why here, why now? You had a lot of places you could have gone.
A Yeah, I could've went downtown. I grew up on the hill. I've been [there] 20 years now. This is a local deli, this used to be Barna's [closed in 2007]. I grew up here. You would come down after school and get your deli meats and sandwiches, get your subs, whatever. It was a local deli. I know A.J. [Barna] and, you know, six or seven years ago when he decided to shut down I came down here to talk to him about doing next door where Centanni's was, but it just wasn't the right time. I didn't like that side. You know why?
A All your traffic is here and look at where my sign [Points to a mural on the shop's eastern outer wall advertising Carluccio's]. Well, you do, but people are in a hurry to get home. Here [heading eastbound on Campbell Avenue] they're going to work in the morning and they'll see it and maybe stop when they come home.
Q I take it you have great expectations for your future here?
A Oh yeah. I plan to be here for about 20 years, that's my goal. Well, 20 years and I'm out. I'll be 56 and I'm going to Italy. I'll be retired there. Twenty years is enough; this is a tough business.
Carlo A. Bruno, Jr.,
Owner of Carluccio's Italian Delicatessen, 15 Campbell Avenue Thursday, May 2, 2013 in Troy. (J.S.Carras/The Record)
"You can get to know Carlo by how much you will love his food!"