A True Gem
Agostino’s Deli Continues Culinary Legacy
Story by Kim Latimer, Photos by Jack Barten
The Agostino name is a culinary legacy in Thunder Bay, renowned for their boutique grocery store, deli, and bakery filled with fine Italian foods. For over three decades, Cosimo, Lucy, and the entire Agostino family have consistently offered an authentic, delicious taste of Italy here in Thunder Bay. Locals rave about the “Lucy” sandwich, the deli’s dreamboat Italian sub. In pursuit of his passion for food, their father, Ferruccio Agostino, opened the small Italian grocery and deli shop in Thunder Bay in 1986. “We were all born in Italy. My dad was a truck driver, but he always dreamed of moving back to Italy to open up a grocery store there,” says Cosimo Agostino. “My brother didn’t want to go, so when this opportunity came around [in Thunder Bay] he opened this business but kept his truck too for five years just in case.” Thirty-six years later, the truck is long gone and Agostino’s Deli has blossomed into a full-scale boutique Italian grocery with a small-batch feel. The store now includes an inhouse delicatessen, bakery, and special-order service known for spicy and savoury catering trays and exquisite charcuterie. They’re also a small local restaurant supplier of unique custom orders that include Italian buns, jumbo subs, focaccia, and specialty Italian meats. The shelves are lined with the best items—the same ones stocked in their home pantries. “We source out the best quality and sell homemade food that we make with that little bit of extra love and passion we put into it,” says Cosimo. With Lucy’s glorious laugh, warm smile, and flair for charcuterie, as well as Cosimo’s outstanding knowledge of Italian products, the store has the feel of a family kitchen. And as more plans for expansion continue to slowly simmer behind the scenes, we’re left hungry for more and excited to see what this powerhouse culinary family will offer next. The secret to their success so far, says Cosimo, is that “we simply provide goodquality food that we would comfortably feed to our own families.” Agostino’s Deli is a rich, warm, experience in the Thunder Bay south side’s culinary scene. If you love Italian food, this is it. If not, you’re about to. Agostino’s Deli and Bakery is located at 230 South Leland Avenue, off Arthur Street, open Tuesday to Sunday. Find them on Instagram and Facebook @agostinosdeli.