Sansone Foods is taking a step back to move forward.
The Garden City Park-based Italian food distributor is gutting a warehouse in a renovation project that will return the building to use as a store, Sansone Market, and which will also include the business' headquarters by mid-September, said Leonardo Mastrantoni, 45, who co-owns Sansone Foods with his two siblings.
The 4,500-square-foot building at 2147 Jericho Tpke. last operated as a store and base of operations more than 30 years ago. Sansone’s current headquarters is nearby in a 12,000-square-foot building at 2133 Jericho Tpke. , which also houses its wholesale business and a small retail operation, Mastrantoni said.
The new market will allow the company to split its retail and wholesale businesses between two buildings, and to expand retail.
“Because the retail market inside of our 2133 warehouse is doing very well, we need more room for our wholesale business,” said Robert Hawkey, director of operations.
The new Sansone Market, like the current retail business, will sell specialty Italian foods, including sauces, meats, cheese and frozen items, but will broaden its variety and add gelato, along with fresh pastries and breads that will be baked on site, Hawkey said. The new market will also add a Lavazza coffee station.
The new market will offer more variety than what Sansone Foods carries in retail now, Hawkey said. For example, the coffee station, gelato, and fresh pastries and breads are not currently offered.
The market will occupy 3,500 square feet on the first floor of 2147 Jericho Tpke. and Sansone Foods’ office space will move to a 1,000 square-foot mezzanine on the second floor, Mastrantoni said.
He declined to disclose the cost of the renovation project.
Sansone Foods' wholesale business distributes Italian food to pizzerias and other restaurants in the metro area.
“We’re very discerning on the types of products that we sell our customers. We only sell the leading brands,” said Mastrantoni, who said his family began selling food in the 1800s in Italy.
A Brooklyn family, the Frantiannis, founded Sansone Foods in Bushwick in 1930, he said.
Mastrantoni’s father and his father’s three brothers, some of whom had deli businesses, bought Sansone Foods from the Frantianni family and relocated it to 2147 Jericho Tpke. in Garden City Park in 1982, Leonardo Mastrantoni said.
In that building, the four Mastrantoni brothers — Rocco Sr., Alfonso, Armando and Vincent, all Long Island residents — operated Sansone Foods’ wholesale business, warehouse and small retail operation.
In 1986, they moved operations a few doors down, to 2133 Jericho Tpke. , using it for their headquarters, wholesale business and about 1,000 square feet of retail. The building at 2147 Jericho, which was built in the early 1960s, has been used for storage since 1986.
Three of the Mastrantoni brothers bought out Armando from the business in 2005, Leonardo Mastrantoni said. In 2015, Rocco Mastrantoni Sr.’s children — Leonardo, Rocco Jr. and Felicia Accardo — bought the business.
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