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Joe Vessia and John Arena own Bayside Salumeria, a deli at 41st Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street in Bayside. They sell fresh cold cuts, prepare breakfast and lunch, make coffee and carry chips, cookies and necessary Italian ingredients.
I was fervent to learn the work put into maintaining an everyday working and expanding deli. I am also a regular customer and can tell you the food and coffee are impeccable. The staff is kind, helpful and generous.
Vessia and Arena founded the deli 15 years ago. The original property was owned by a grocery store. Vessia said he liked the corner location and the room inside was an ideal site to start the business.
Vessia and Arena are big fans of Sacred Heart School. In fact, they have sponsored the school’s mother-daughter dance and other fund-raisers. They are also trying to institute “Deli Day” as a special lunch day for Sacred Heart.
The owners are also avid sports fans. Vessia roots for the New York Mets and New York Jets. Arena, however, roots for the New York Giants.
Vessia, Arena and their staff make the food from scratch with fresh Italian ingredients. “Salumeria” means “cured meat shop” in Italian — essentially, what we call a delicatessen.
The staff includes John Saracco and Zana Parker. Jose Hernandez is a new member. Saracco has been there 10 years; Zana for two.
The quality of the food is flawless, so how do they do iti
Saracco keeps the place vibrant with his humor. It creates a light atmosphere in the building on slow days.
Parker keeps the place in order. She is more on the serious side, but as you get to know her, you will find she is a kind woman.
Arena is more on the quiet side, but polite. He is nonetheless hysterical.
Hernandez is gets teased a number of times, but seems to enjoy it. He is also more shy and timid, but laughs along. He also does a fine job working the cash register and preparing food.
Vessia works hard and is a pleasant man. He also has fun with Saracco’s jokes. Vessia also mentions his wife and children a lot. He lives on Long Island with his wife, Lina, and two children, Joseph and Anthony.
Bayside Salumeria is open seven days a week. It offers free delivery Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. It will also cater any occasion.
For information, call 718-423-8221.
Neil A. Carousso is an eighth-grade student at Sacred Heart School and founder and editor of the Sacred Heart Journal, the school’s newspaper.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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