Appetizers
October 25, 2006
Moving from Wholesale to Retail

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Michael Sampino, who has been running his wholesale produce business Fabbriela out of the back of quarters at 1607 F St. in Sacramento, has opened the front of the building as Sampino's Towne Foods, a full-service deli. Sampino, who also owns the wholesale seafood business La Spiagia, is being assisted in his newest venture by his father, Bill, a longtime veteran of the deli departments at Corti Brothers and David Berkley Fine Wines & Specialty Foods. Indeed, the Sampinos are stocking their deli cases with housemade items that would be right at home at Corti Brothers or David Berkley - Italian sausages, salmon rolls, lasagna.

After just three days, however, their biggest hit is the "Sampinini" ($5.99), a panino sandwich of various Italian cured meats with melted cheeses and housemade mayonnaise and balsamic vinaigrette. Of the 261 sandwiches they sold yesterday, 73 were the Sampinini, says Michael Sampino.

The store, former longtime home to Frank's Quality Meats, also stocks porcini mushrooms that Michael Sampino harvests and dries himself, specialty foods like Turkish apricots, breads by Grateful Bread, fresh produce, olive oils, seafood, pastas, beef and so forth.

Missing from the inventory, however, is wine, an oversight Michael Sampino says he will correct as soon as he gets the proper license. He's already preparing a closed area of the quarters to be the wine cellar.

Sampino's Towne Foods, 1607 F St. (at 16th), is open 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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