Vincenzo’s has been serving the Kitchener-Waterloo area the best Mediterranean and specialty foods for over 40 years. Originally started out of Vincenzo Caccioppoli’s living room in 1967, the store has grown into a beautiful 15,000 square foot space in Waterloo that is now run by Vincenzo’s sons, Carmine and Tony. We sat down with Carmine and asked him a few questions about the store, food trends, and his favorite go-to dish.
Carmine & Tony Caccioppoli, owners of Vincenzo’s
You’ve been around for over 40 years. What is your secret for success?
I think it’s offering people a wide variety of products, really good service, and most importantly value for their products.
And would you say that value is one of the things that make you unique?
In the Kitchener-Waterloo area, I think that’s part of the reason for our success. We want to give people the best possible products they can find and we give it to them with value. Nowadays especially, with the economy the way it is, people are looking for value. They want to get the best combination of quality products that are as healthy as possible.
What sort of trends are you seeing in grocery?
Consumers are moving towards healthier options. I think everybody is going that way, especially the baby boomers, who are seeking out healthier options more and more. There is also a growing focus once again on local products; I think it’s something that people are looking for. I think they’re becoming more aware of [the importance of local food] because of the economics of petroleum costs and concerns about the quality of food from other parts of the world.
You have lots of things in the store that can inspire cooks but also non-cooks wanting to learn. What do you consider yourself to be?
I consider myself to be an inspired cook. I like to look at different things that inspire me but often I don’t have the time to do the cooking I would like to do.
When you do get a chance to cook, what is your go-to meal?
For me it’s always a pasta base, it’s always the one to start with. When fresh ingredients are available, like local Ontario Mozzarella di Bufala, I’ll serve it with some great St. Jacob’s Ontario grown tomatoes. But overall, pasta is always the way that I tend to go.