A new generation has taken the reins of DeLuca’s Market.
Caroline and Victoria Aiello, respectively the 41-year-old and 32-year-old daughters of longtime owner Virgil Aiello, assumed ownership of both locations of the market – 11 Charles St. and 239 Newbury St. – at the beginning of the year, although they’ve both been on board since last October in preparation for this transition.
Under their ownership, shoppers can expect to see more humanely raised animal products while the store will also be trying to keep it products’ packaging, especially plastic, to a minimum.
“We also try to be responsive to customers,” said Caroline. “If there’s a product they want and we don’t have it, we’ll do our best to bring it in…and they’ll see it on the shelf the following week.”
Besides putting an emphasis on fresh products, DeLuca’s also plans to expand its prepared food options to appeal to young professionals, families, and particularly, older clientele.
“We want to make sure our older clients know we’re here and continuing the business,” said Caroline. “It’s really nice they can walk to a grocery store, and it makes Beacon Hill really feel like a village.”
Both locations of DeLuca’s also cater to many tourists and visitors, so Caroline said she hopes the market will become a destination where residents bring their friends from out of town.
There are plans to renovate the Charles Street store, although Caroline said customers would have to want six months to a year before they’ll be able to see any discernible changes.
“In a perfect world, we’d already be investing in coolers, equipment, and shelving,” added Victoria.
Both Caroline and Victoria are Beacon Hill residents and have fond memories of coming to the store as children.
“We really love the neighborhood and appreciate what a great asset a well-stocked and welcoming grocery store can be to the community,” said Caroline.
Added Victoria, “Our background is as an Italian specialty grocery store that preserves the Old World [sensibility]. We really want this to be a pleasant shopping experience where people can discover unique products and know that they’re healthy.”
In addition to Virgil, the Aiello sisters also expressed their gratitude to their uncle, Robert, as well as Wojtek Dzienis, the longtime manager of the Newbury Street store, for their unwavering support.
Virgil, now 80, who along with his brother, Robert Aiello, represent the second generation of the family business that dates back to 1905, still remains a regular presence at DeLuca’s. After working there tirelessly for so many years, this could likely be chalked up to habit, his daughters said.
Said Virgil: “I am very pleased that they have chosen the exciting challenge of running DeLuca’s, to serve the people of Beacon Hill in particular and Boston in general.”
Above all else, Caroline and Victoria want DeLuca’s to embody community.
“We want DeLuca’s to be a place where we recognize your face and know your name, and there’s a sense of community,” said Victoria.
Caroline added, “We want the community to feel like it’s their store.”
DeLuca’s Market has locations at 11 Charles St. (617-523-4343) and 239 Newbury St. (617-262-5990). For more information, visit delucasmarket.com.