Food & Drink Awards 2020

Page 52 www.lux-review.com LUX 2020 Food & Drink Awards Natalino and Maria Celino, Claudio’s parents, opened an Italian deli café on Alexandra Parade in the East End of Glasgow in 1982. The business was very much part of family life and Claudio and his siblings have fond memories of doing their homework in the back shop and working in the business as they grew up. Claudio joined his Dad in the business around 2001 and, along with his wife Joanne, bought the business from his dad when he retired, in 2007/2008 (around the same time that Claudio’s first son, Rocco was born). Over the next five years, the business grew significantly into a seven-day operation, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner in the trattoria as well as a deli and takeaway service. It was also a busy time at home, with the patter of more tiny feet as Giancarlo and Gennaro came along to join Rocco. After working hard to grow the business and build the Celino’s brand, Claudio and Joanne decided to expand and opened another deli in the west end of Glasgow in 2017. Celino’s Partick has a nine-metre long deli counter displaying a wide range of high-quality Italian produce and a 140-seat trattoria. As well as offering traditional favourites such as minestrone, lasagne, pizza and tiramisu, the menu showcases the quality produce from the deli, including San Daniele, Levoni salame, Pecorino Sardo D.O.P and Cerignola Puglian olives in the popular Antipasto Salumeria, whilst fresh seafood features heavily in some of the most popular dishes, such as Gamberoni alla Siciliana and Spaghetti allo Scoglio. Like his Dad before him, Claudio is never willing to sacrifice quality when sourcing and his preference is to work with smaller, often family owned suppliers who consistently supply the highest quality produce. For example, he has worked with his wine supplier, Max from Colosseum Wines for over a decade. Max sources wine from small family owned vineyards around Italy, selecting bottles that are often sold exclusively to Celino’s in the UK. Celino’s is an Italian delicatessen and trattoria. A family run business, owned by Claudio and Joanne Celino, Celino’s offers ‘tutto per tutti’ (everything for everyone) - a quality coffee and pastry on the way to work, a lazy Sunday brunch, a special family dinner or a buffet featuring a tray of Celino’s lasagne for a family celebration. Sep20887 Celino’s Best Family-Run Trattoria – Glasgow Claudio continues to run the business with a hands-on style. He is much more likely to be found in the deli, restaurant floor or in the kitchen than in the office, as he enjoys the interaction with staff, customers and suppliers, and the strong relationships that he has built are the foundations of the business. As the business has grown, so too have the management and administration tasks - much to Claudio’s dismay! In order to provide some much-needed support with these tasks, Joanne, who has a background in accountancy and teaching, left her teaching job in 2017 to work in the business. Claudio is supported by a very strong management team that includes General Managers, Jenni and Jane, Restaurant Managers, Felipe and Alan and Head Chefs, Alessandro and Giovanni. Whilst high turnover of staff is common in the industry, Celino’s values staff continuity and the management team is evidence of this, racking up approximately thirty-five years of service at Celino’s between them. When looking for new recruits, Claudio seeks passion for Italian food and drink, a strong work ethic and an engaging personality. Celino’s has built up a reputation for excellent customer service and so it’s important that all members of the team are focused on this. The very experienced managers and their teams really make customers feel that ‘nothing is too much trouble’. The commitment to ensure that every customer gets exactly what they want out of their Celino’s experience creates a very special atmosphere in Celino’s which ensures that customers regularly return. In a competitive industry, connection with customers is key. Celino’s strives to be a valuable member of the local communities in which it resides. Those that live in the local areas of Dennistoun and Partick, support Celino’s through loyal custom and seem to feel a real sense of pride in Celino’s. This has never been more apparent than in recent months as the business and industry faced the challenges presented by Covid-19. Lockdown hit Celino’s hard and Claudio and Joanne had to look for different ways to meet customers’ needs, bring in income, save jobs and ensure that the business survived. Plans to develop the online side of the business had to move forward very quickly. Italian Easter eggs and cakes were sold online and today, the online shop offers a wide selection of deli products, which can be delivered throughout the UK. The development of a Click & Collect service for deli products, including pasta dishes, and Celino’[email protected] allow customers to order online from the breakfast, lunch and a la carte menu for collection or delivery. Customers have responded in a really positive way to all these initiatives and Claudio and Joanne have been overwhelmed by the support. Customers also showed their support during the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, so much so that Celino’s continued to run the scheme throughout September and October. Thanks to the amazing level of support from customers, and the hard work of the whole Celino’s team, there have been no redundancies to date. However, it’s clear that Covid-19 will continue to present many challenges for the hospitality sector in the years to come. Therefore, it’s important to keep moving forward, developing alternative ways to meet customer needs whilst also ensuring that even in these difficult times, when customers visit, they are still able to enjoy the full Celino’s experience and feel safe at the same time. At the moment, Celino’s are preparing for Christmas, with Claudio spending a lot of time working on this year’s luxury Celino’s hampers, which will be available in store and online. Thereafter, Celino’s looks forward to 2021 and hope that soon we’ll see a return to normality in which customers can come to the trattoria with as many family and friends as they want, the smiling faces of the Celino’s team will re-appear from behind the masks and the restaurant manager can invite the whole trattoria to sing Happy Birthday to an unsuspecting customer. Contact: Claudio Celino Company: Celino’s Web Address: www.celinos.com

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