“The whole concept came from when we were younger and always had Sunday lunch with my great-grandparents,” said Lance Martin, IACC member and co-founder of Delivery Italiano, an online Italian gourmet food products subscription service which he and his brother and business partner Brett launched in Houston this month.
The brothers’ great-grandparents, who were originally from Caserta, Italy, landed in New York in 1907 and ultimately settled in south Texas, where they never abandoned their Italian culinary heritage and passion for great cooking.
“My great-grandmother would start cooking early in the day and eating with them was an all-day event,” Martin said.
“The idea [behind Delivery Italiano] was let’s create this for all the people who love Italian food,” he told the chamber in a phone interview last week.
Authenticity and artisanal quality are the driving concepts behind the new business, he explained. Big distributors of Italian food products have to focus on volume and so they tend to avoid small, family-run producers. Delivery Italiano’s approach is exactly the opposite: Its curators, including celebrity chef Luca Manfé, source each item included the boxes directly from Italy, from producers who they have visited themselves.
“We tasted nearly 600 samples,” recounted Martin, “before we decided on our first box. Everything we include is 100 percent authentic.”
The “Chef’s Select” box contains 8-10 products and serves 8 persons, while the limited-edition “Classica” box contains 14-16 products. All boxes come with recipes created especially by chef Manfé. And subscribers have the option of signing up for multiple offerings or purchasing individual boxes.
Each box has “everything you need” to create an authentic Italian meal.
In the “Chef’s Select” box, “you get an appetizer, two pastas, two sauces, olive oil, and vegetables in oil,” said Martin, “not to mention the recipe card and the cultural card,” which gives users historical and cultural background information on the box’s contents.
The Martin brothers have just launched their new website and portal and the first offerings are now available to users. In a few months, they also plan to begin offering perishable items as well (like charcuterie and cheeses).
Since 2015, they have also run culinary tours of Italy (see this link on their site).
So many of their guests have asked the brothers where they can get artisanal Italian products in the U.S., said Martin. Delivery Italiano is a brilliant new way to fulfill the ever growing demand for high-quality, authentic Italian food in North America.
Congratulations to the Martin brothers and their team on the launch of the new site and service!