At Carmine Galeotafiore’s Delfiore Italian Pork Store in the village of Patchogue you’ll often see lines out the door, as loyal customers wait for a turn at the counter. Galeotafiore is always pleased to answer questions about his impeccably prepared food—in his delightfully thick Italian accent. Carmine, born and raised in a small town north of Naples, founded the store in 1971, which is now managed by his son Lorenzo. It is clear that their work is also their passion. Carmine tells us all about it.
When did you come to the United States?
I came to Brooklyn when I was in my early twenties, in the late 1960s. I had friends who already came here from Italy and were living well and making a living. The economy in Italy can be tough. My wife, Lucia, is also from Italy, a village called Contursi. Her brother was my friend. We fell in love when she visited us in Brooklyn and decided this was where we wanted to raise a family.
I learned from the best. I got a job at A&S Pork Store in Massapequa and, under the guidance of old-school pork purveyors, I learned my trade. They taught me how to make homemade mozzarella and sausage.
What is the history of Delfiore Italian Pork Store?
I listened and worked hard for a couple of years at A&S and then went out on my own and by the age of 25 I opened my store, Delfiore. It was 1971 and we had a place on South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue. In 1985, I bought a building up the street and expanded to where we are now. My son, Lorenzo is amazing and helps me run the place today and you will usually find one of us here. It is a true family business.
What type of products do you make and sell?
We are known for our homemade mozzarella, which we make daily, and for our fresh pork sausages. Over the years our expertise has grown to include dry sausage, soppressata, fresh pastas, prime meats and all the imported Italian goods you can imagine. My son, Angelo, who now has his own pizzeria/restaurant around the corner on Main Street went to the Culinary Institute of America. When he worked here he started making prepared foods to sell, like lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, meatballs, sauces, roasted peppers and broccoli rabe. We make unbelievable sandwiches with the freshest hearth-baked bread, which we have delivered daily from city bakeries.
Which of your housemade sausages is your favorite?
All of them! Now, if you ask my son Lorenzo, he will tell you that he loves the hot sausages. They are spicy enough where you can feel the heat but not too spicy that you can’t taste anything else. We do not use any fillers in our sausages, no gluten, none of that stuff. We only use fresh pork, they are the real thing and they are all delicious.
What makes Patchogue a special place?
Oh, Patchogue is a great town. We have been here through everything. It was booming when we got here, the 1970s and ’80s, and then it was on a down swing up until about a decade ago, and things were not so terrific. Now the energy is amazing again; it is coming back up for sure. It has great restaurants and nightlife and a very active arts movement, but for me the best thing about Patchogue is the people. They are so real, so genuine. Especially as a business owner—there is a core group of us that is extremely supportive of one another. It is just a great community. Delfiore has been here for over 40 years and it is going to stay.