Nonna’s Cucina Food Truck was a staple on Murray Street last summer.
Joe Fazio told the Tri-City News the black truck with its distinctive NC logo and fire-roasted paninos will be back in Port Moody this spring.
But in the meantime he has a new enterprise on his hands.
Nonna’s Cucina has just opened a brick and mortar store at 2166 East Hastings St., in Vancouver.
"I’m from North Vancouver. The Hastings area we chose because we got a good opportunity for the store. It was pretty much turn-key," Fazio said.
"I was approached and it was a no-brainer," said Fazio.
Opening the sandwich shop enables Fazio to provide more of the sandwiches inspired by family recipes, and do catering and corporate events, he said
Fazio has also hired six staff and is considering food truck stops in Burnaby and Vancouver, in addition to Port Moody.
It seems the public is enamoured with his sandwiches, which grew in popularity as Nonna Cucina's Food Truck was launched next to the skateboard park at Rocky Point Park on Murray Street last June.
It then moved to a rotation at the Port Moody breweries.
"People were looking for something a little bit different," said Fazio.
Having a store enables Fazio to sell sandwiches even when the weather is poor. There are a few window seats in the shop, and a place to sit outdoors when the weather is good, but the business is mostly take out.
As well, customers will be able to order via Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and Doordash.
"Now we can do different products for the truck if we wanted and it’s our own space, and, with the food trucks, it's also good advertising," Fazio said.
Although the Nonna's Cucina Food Truck is down right now, Fazio said it will return this spring to Port Moody so all his local fans can still get a taste of Italian street food along with their craft beer.
Nonna's Cucina menu includes vegetarian offerings, such as Nonna's Giardino, with peperonata (sauted peppers and onions), eggplant, grilled zucchini, tomato, provolone and Nonna’s fig sauce and the classic Caprese, with fiore di latte, tomato, arugula, pistachio pesto, and extra virgin olive oil.
Meat sandwiches include Nonna's Speciale, with Nonna’s fig spread, Sopresatta, spicy capicollo, mild salami, fiore di latte, peperonata, eggplant, tomato, arugula, and light Dijon mayo.
However, it's the meatball panino that Fazio says was the most popular in Port Moody.
Tri-City residents should soon be able to tempt their taste buds when the truck returns to the area.
Until then, a visit to the Hastings Street shop may be in order.