About De Luca’s
De Luca’s Specialty Food Store was established in 1968 as a grocery store and small restaurant featuring authentic Italian foods and catering primarily to Winnipeg’s Italian community.
Today, De Luca’s now caters to a broad cross-section of people across Manitoba and North-Western Ontario. The client base is drawn by internationally imported products specializing in Mediterranean foods, meats, and cheeses as well as De Luca’s homemade sausages, pastas, sauces, and “always fresh” in-store bakery.
Many of the homemade products made in-store are used extensively throughout the food industry. On the shelves you will also find De Luca’s own line of products under the name De Luca Brand.
The very popular De Luca Brand is De Luca’s private label and offers traditional products such as marinated eggplant, artichokes, tomatoes, roasted peppers, sun dried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, coffee & espresso, and much more. De Luca's products are distributed throughout Western Canada and the US Midwest by the wholesale division of the company De Luca Bros. Foods International.
Their Story by Tony De Luca
The De Luca brothers—Frank, Pasquale, Peter, and I—grew up on our family farm in Calabria, Italy, surrounded by 90 acres of olive and fruit trees, huge oak and chestnut trees, and of course, rows of grapevines. Our family developed a special appreciation for nature—an appreciation and amazement brought about by all that we did on and off the farm: grafting different apple varieties on the same tree; gathering wild aniseed, wild asparagus, and prickly pears in season; baking fresh bread in the wood oven; and accompanying our dad to the farmer’s market.
I was 12 when my parents decided that we would come to Canada and join our Uncle Stano and his family who had settled in Manitoba. Although my grandfather didn’t want us to leave home, he left us with this advice, “Make Italy wherever you go and you won’t regret it.”
As we adjusted to our new Winnipeg home, we realized there was, indeed, one thing missing: the Italian food and ingredients so integral to our culture. The idea of opening an Italian grocery store began to take shape, but limited resources, business experience, language skills, and capital would be our biggest hurdles to overcome. Over time, how- ever, two important events occurred that would influence our success. A large group of Italians was scheduled to take contract work with the local garment industry, creating a higher demand for Italian foods in Winnipeg. Secondly, our local drugstore owner, Mr. Louis Waterman, had hinted to us that he wanted to retire and that he would help us get established if we purchased his building. With Mr. Waterman’s generosity and guidance, De Luca’s opened in 1969, almost 11 years after we arrived in Winnipeg. The business has grown to include a wholesale division, restaurant, cooking school, bakery, and deli.
Tony De Luca