If only grandma’s kitchen had an Italian Riviera nearby. The distinctive specialty shop, owned by Michael Mucci, offers the finest food and ingredients available, much of it imported straight from Italy.
Established in 1966, Michael owned the Italian Riviera for the past 21 years. “My father had a coffee shop in Hackensack. We walked there after school and washed dishes in the afternoon. I’ve always worked in the food industry.”
Michael found the restaurant business to be too taxing while raising a young family, so he bought Italian Riviera, where business is a family affair. His wife, daughter and one son are part of the crew, as well as a team of nieces, nephews, and neighborhood teens.
The market offers all things delicious--including homemade Italian sausage made on the premises twice a week and fresh mozzarella made twice a day. “The aged Galloni Gold prosciutto is the best you can buy,” says Michael. “The products I have here are not what you would typically find in a grocery store.”
Prepared dinners are all freshly made and the shelves are lined with delicious sauces, seasonings, condiments, and treats from Italy. “We cater a lot of events as well,” says Michael. “Christmas is especially crazy. We come in on December 23 at 5am, and leave on the 24th at 6pm--that’s a 36-hour shift! I tell my customers to order early!”