Walter Bergamaschi and Marti Printy Bergamaschi opened Dolce Vita Italian Grocer hoping to bring a taste of the country they love to their Alta Mesa neighborhood.
They quickly succeeded.
Dolce Vita’s popularity, especially among Mesa’s Italian community, has grown in the past year, and the shop is known as a place to get hard-to-find imported Italian items, such as panna da cucina (cooking cream), sale al tartufo (truffle salt) and Pan di Stelle chocolate and hazelnut cookies.
“Word is getting around,” Marti said. “People know if thay can’t find it anywhere else, they can probably find it here. Or we can get it for them.”
Dolce Vita has added lot of authentic merchandise since it first opened and offers live music most weekends.
“It’s like Little Italy,” Marti said. “We try to make it fun and think everyone has fun when they’re here.”
There’s also a deli counter where customers can buy meats, cheeses and homemade pasta dishes to take home, or order a sandwich, salad, antipasto platter or pasta plate to eat at one of the grocery’s red-and-white-checkered-tablecloth-covered tables.
Meats include porchetta, mortadella and prosciutto crudo. The Bergamaschis make their own gnocchi and ravioli, and change up the flavors with the seasons.
Don’t fill up, though, as the Bergamaschis also own the made-fresh-daily gelato shop next door.