The Italian Kitchen: A Media Sensation

WilmU’s Italian Kitchen scored big with Wilmington News Journal readers who gave it an Honorable Mention for Best Sandwich Shop.

Italian Kitchen Team
From left: Ashley DiMarco, Brenda Galloway, LeShawn Hobbs, Bernie DiMarco, Carley Mills, Tina Luciano, Trudy Spence (Not Pictured: Sandy Swarter, Carmen DiGivantonio, Ryan Neave, Lorraine Galloway, Suzanne Crist, Barbara Miller and Robin Claycomb)

“There was no particular sandwich that we got nominated for,” says Owner Bernie DiMarco. “However, our cheesesteaks, wraps and Wildcat burgers are the best sellers.”
The flourishing business has always been a family affair. “The Italian Kitchen was started in 1972 by my grandmother and grandfather,” says DiMarco. “It was renamed DiPaolo’s Ristorante in 2008. It’s located in Penns Grove, New Jersey, and owned by my uncle.”

In the mid-’80s, Di Marco’s parents opened two locations: Roman Pantry, which is still in operation, and Fast Eddies, which they sold. Under the umbrella of Italian Kitchen, they now own and operate Roman Pantry in Carneys Point, New Jersey, and Italian Kitchen in Pennsville (New Jersey). Both house a full-service pizza shop, deli, convenience store and bakery. The family started catering in the ’90s and has won numerous “Best of Salem County” awards for catering.

DiMarco is both a foodie and an administrator. He loves the culinary industry, but he also loves math — and taught it for 13 years for the Christina School District. He holds a BA in Mathematics Education and an MBA in School Leadership, both from WilmU.

DiMarco feels blessed to partner with WilmU. “I love associating with people, and the people at the University are terrific. They are always kind, supportive and a pleasure to serve. It’s a privilege.”

The partnership was established in 2010. “We offer many ethnic foods, in addition to our favorites — subs, steaks, pizza and sandwiches,” DiMarco says. “We also offer catering on- and off-premise and our team has catered to groups as large as 350 and as small as five.” The business also specializes in fine dining, and its team is delighted to drop off catered items directly to any facility.

Leaders like DiMarco tend to inspire as well as manage. DiMarco knows he can’t run the business alone and values the talents his team brings to the table. “I have the best staff anyone could ask for,” he says. “They go above and beyond to serve customers, and they do it respectfully and graciously. I love them.”

—Maria Hess

To contact the Italian Kitchen, call (302) 356-6788, or email at italiankitchen@wilmu.edu.