Local manufacturers and small businesses anchor San Francisco’s neighborhoods and fuel the city’s economy. Lucca Delicatessen, a retail and takeout deli located in the Marina District, is one of those special businesses that customers have been counting on for generations for quality products and excellent customer service.
Founded in 1929 by Mike Bosco and his partners, Lucca Deli is currently operated by Bosco’s grandchildren, Linda and Paul Bosco, who continue the tradition of serving customers Italian and French specialty grocery items, including wine, hand-made pasta, and a bountiful selection of meats and cheeses.
“We started working in the deli when we were kids and continued working there through high school and college,” said Paul Bosco, co-owner, Lucca Deli. “After college, we decided to give it a shot and start running the business. We’ve been at it for the last 25 years, full-time.”
Bosco discovered SFMade only recently—at the visitor information counter in Moscone Center—but he’s already taking advantage of SFMade’s workshops, and he expects to do more with SFMade now that he’s learned about the range of services offered. Lucca Deli is considered a manufacturing business in that it has been making its famous ravioli and a few other products by hand since 1929.
“I was walking downtown and went into a visitor information center, checking out information, and saw a pamphlet from SFMade,” said Bosco. “I went online and filled out a form.”
“Pierre contacted me and he and Janet came by the business, and they gave me great information about workforce, hiring, branding, and retail. They also turned me onto a great webinar about succession planning,” said Bosco.
Bosco looks forward to utilizing SFMade’s services, especially for succession planning and branding. For the time being, however, he and his team are working hard to keep up with the demand for their products created by the pandemic.
Although the COVID-19 crisis has created challenges for the business, sales have actually increased when compared to last year.
“In the beginning, we closed the doors completely and would hand food through the door,” he said. “No one could enter the shop. We reduced our hours, but not much. Another thing we had going for us was a company called Mercato, an Instacart for small retailers. Mercato exploded. Sometimes we would get 15 large orders a day, in addition to people calling on the phone. Our sales actually were better than the previous year because of that.”
Lucca loves their online customers, but it’s their neighbors who “really keep us going,” according to Bosco. “We have fourth and fifth generation San Francisco families that know us. During the week you have all the regulars, blue collar, white collar; and on the weekends, it’s young people and tourists going on picnics.”