The little piece of Italy that is Pina Delicatessen in Hamilton is set to celebrate a golden milestone next year.
The deli, which stocks a range of Italian salami and mortadella, as well as cheeses, pasta, biscotti and other European treats, will celebrate 50 years of business next May.
But this week Deborah and Darren Brazel are also celebrating their first anniversary as owners of the popular store.
Prior to buying the business a year ago, Deborah was a customer.
She was attracted to its freshly sliced Italian salami and mortadella – the flavours she had grown up with.
‘‘I have an Italian background, so I was always a customer,’’ she told GT.
‘‘I just loved the atmosphere of the place, and the smell of the deli.
‘‘I always thought it was a good little business, and it’s an icon in Newcastle – it has been going for such a long time – so when the previous owner wanted to sell I thought I’d give it a go.
‘‘The people are great – the customers are really nice, and they’ve helped ease me into the place so it has been really good.’’
Deborah said they were the ninth owners of the business.
They were hoping to organise something special with previous owners to celebrate the deli’s 50th birthday next year.
‘‘It’s a huge milestone,’’ she said. ‘‘We like to think the authenticity of the place is still the same as when it opened.
‘‘You might introduce a few different items – like we’ve introduced gluten free products and things like that, but basically it’s still your typical Italian or international deli.
‘‘We do try to get different things in that you can’t get elsewhere.’’
Pina Delicatessen is at 48 Lindsay Street, Hamilton, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 5pm, Saturday from 8am to 1.30pm. It is closed Sundays.