Battaglia’s fills Met Foods void

Frank Battaglia Sr. and David Surace in front of Battaglia’s Market on Eastchester Road and Mace Avenue. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

What was once a simple deli has become a comprehensive superette serving the needs of Pelham Gardens residents.

Just one year after moving to the Bronx from Italy, Frank Battaglia Sr. began with a small butcher shop on Eastchester Road in 1973.

Business boomed and shortly after Battaglia expanded his store into a Delicatessen, featuring all the basic necessities to serve the residents throughout the area, including items imported from Italy.

“The stuff brought from Italy are specialty items, they are the very best,” explains Battaglia Sr., owner of the store for 35 years.

Recently, another opportunity for expansion arose. The local supermarket, Met Foods, suddenly went out of business for what is believed to be a variety of controversial reasons. This supermarket was the only one serving the Pelham Gardens area, leaving many residents with transportation limitations no place to shop.

“A lot of the community is seniors who don’t drive and in the rain and snow are afraid to walk too far,” stated North East Bronx Association member Vinny Prezioso.

The Battaglia family saw the need and met the community’s demand by purchasing the property adjacent to his and expanding his deli into a grocery store, located on the corner of Eastchester Road and Mace Avenue.

“With the closing of Met Foods, we wanted to provide for our community,” explained Frank Battaglia Jr.

Battaglia’s Market received strong support from the community and surrounding organizations in his attempt to serve their needs.

“I am very happy Battaglia’s is doing well and everyone I talked to is happy about it,” explains Prezioso. “He always had outstanding food, he caters to people’s needs and he runs a very clean store, so I give him a 10.”

The store offers a variety of grocery items, now including fresh fruits, vegetables, an array of daily items, and take home meals made from scratch in the store’s kitchen.

Chef David Surace, who attended the Institute of Culinary Education, will be heading the catering service offered by Battaglia’s Market, serving parties of all sizes and ranging in events from backyard barbeques to black-tie affairs.

According to Battaglia Jr., several modifications are nearing completion. “We are adding a steam table, a salad bar, and are completing the kitchen.” He also went on to add that a grocery delivery service is available.

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