Seven Brothers Gourmet picked up and left.
But it didn’t go far. The family-owned grocery store that specializes in Italian groceries and prepared foods relocated a few blocks down the street to 2831 Long Beach Rd. in Oceanside.
The neighborhood store was buzzing with activity July 30, its first day at the new address.
Antonio “Tony” Fiorito, 74, who founded the business in 1972 in Brooklyn, walked around proudly greeting customers as they stood in line for hot prepared foods and walked down aisles selecting groceries.
“I feel great. I couldn’t ask for better,” he said about how he felt in the new location.
Fiorito’s sons, Joseph and Anthony, now own the store. His daughters, Lisa Alongis and RoseAnn Correa, also work there.
Also, two of Tony Fiorito’s siblings — brother Sandro Fiorito and sister Maria Taurino — work in the store.
Tony Fiorito and his sons relocated from a leased space at 2914 Long Beach Rd. to a larger space, which is in a three-level building they bought, expanded and gutted, said the founder’s niece, MaryAnn Piazza, 41, a Merrick resident who does marketing for the business.
The new place is more modern and offers expanded amenities, such as a gelato station, a bigger kitchen, more grab-and-go specialty items and additional seating, said Piazza, who said the shop employs 25 people.
“It’s a gourmet Italian supermarket. They have a chef on hand with a team. They cook every day, fresh mozzarella every day, all specialty dishes. They also do catering,” she said.
South Hempstead resident Maria Petrone, 55, who said she visits Seven Brothers once every two weeks, was in the shop on its first day at the new location.
“I came in for two items,” she told the cashier as she rung up two handbaskets full of groceries.
She said she’s a fan of the Stromboli, meat, salads and pasta. “Everybody is so nice and the food is very fresh,” Petrone said.
Seven Brothers' last location was three levels and 9,000 square feet in size.
The store is now in a 14,000-square-foot building, whose main level is 6,500 square feet used for the sales area, butcher section and kitchen space, Piazza said.
The business is saving money since it is no longer in leased space, which allowed the shop to lower prices on its products, Joseph Fiorito, 40, of Oceanside said.
The most popular products are the marinated skirt steak, fresh mozzarella and macaroni salad, said Anthony Fiorito, 31, of Westchester.
He expects the larger store and more efficient layout to increase sales by at least 25%, he said.
Tony Fiorito immigrated from Naples, Italy to the United States in 1968. He hailed from a large family, having seven brothers and six sisters, hence the store's name.
A Queens butcher shop owner, Sante Monaco, who would later become his father-in-law, gave him a job in his store.
In 1972, Monaco helped Tony Fiorito open his first butcher shop, Tony & 7 Brothers, on Wyckoff Avenue in Brooklyn. Monaco sponsored Tony Fiorito’s parents as contract workers to come to the U.S., and they brought their other children with them, Piazza said.
His parents, and siblings that were old enough, worked in the butcher shop, she said.
In 1974, the shop moved to Queens and added grocery products. In 2005, it relocated to its first site in Oceanside because Tony's children were starting their families and wanted to move out of Queens, Piazza said. At that point, his two sons took over the business and the name was changed.
Retail Roundup is a column about major retail news on Long Island — store openings, closings, expansions, acquisitions, etc. — that is published online and in the Monday paper. To read more of these columns, click here. If you have news to share, please send an email to Newsday reporter Tory N. Parrish at email@example.com.