There’s a new aura around the former Napoli Imports lately and customers are already taking notice in the variety of changes made over the past couple months.
Renamed , the once dim lit pizza and grinder shop has transformed into a more vibrant Italian-style deli and bakery under the management of Southington-born resident Michael Truss.
Truss, who took over operations in early December, grew up in Southington and said he hopes to restore the location to its glory of the past.
“I remember coming here when I was a kid and we’d come here to eat. This place was always hopping,” said Truss, now 30. “That’s what I envision, getting it back to that stage.”
Located on South Main Street in the southern portion of the downtown Plantsville district, Napoli’s Italian flags in the window have been a trademark for more than 30 years and remain an important part of the deli even under new management.
But things inside are a bit different than they were and would surprise those who visited just six months before.
The first order of business when Truss took over operation of the deli in December was to replace the floor, create a friendlier atmosphere and expand the selection and quality of all the foods available.
Pizza still remains a staple for Napoli, although they have made a shift from Greek style to an Italian brick-oven pizza, but the restaurant and deli now has a full selection of meats and cheeses, olives and spices.
“That’s the whole reason I keep coming here now,” said Glenn Morelli, Southington resident and regular deli customer. “The capocolla tastes a heck of a lot better than when you get it at a store like Stop and Shop.”
The deli meats serve to make great sandwiches as well and Truss said in addition to the deli sandwiches, Napoli’s has hot options including chicken cutlets, steak and more. There are among 30 versions of made-on-site soup that are made at Napoli as well, with at least 10 options available daily.
In the back of the deli, a bakery section includes fresh baked Italian bread, red pepper biscuits and a variety of biscotti. Truss, who was trained to cook at Newbury College in Boston, also makes each of these items fresh on site instead of buying items off-site as had previously been done.
It should come as no surprise that Truss became a quick – after all, his family has always worked with foods. His father Joe Truss once owned and operated Truss Farms in the community and his sister Ali Truss, 21, now works with him at Napoli.
Moving forward both Mike Truss and his sister said they want to crate programs such as “Dinner at the Deli” on weekends to get people to come in and create more of a family atmosphere.
“If you look around, it’s very different and we will keep changing and growing,” Ali Truss said. “The next step is to work and make sure we have a steady crowd coming regularly.”