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Francesco’s searches for new owner

January 29, 2020
By NATHAN MAYBERG (nmayberg@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Francesco's Italian Deli & Pizzeria is not going anywhere for now. Its longtime owner Francesco Razzano is continuing to operate the eatery at Santini Marina Plaza while he solicits offers for his business which he has run for more than 20 years.

"I'm at the end of my career," Razzano said. Razzano's deli and pizzeria has been a mainstay at Santini Marina Plaza where his menu features tasty New York-style thin-crust pizza with a homemade sauce (he won't part with the ingredients) accompanied by subs, meatballs, gyros, pastrami, salami, cheeses, turkey, olives, salads, blueberry muffins, gelato, canoli, homemade almond biscotti and apple blossom pastries.

Razzano starts early in the morning, typically around 6:30 to make his dough, lasagna and every two weeks - his New York boiled bagels. He bakes his own cookies and also ships in cookies from an Italian bakery in upstate New York. He has a handful of employees to help him.

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Francesco’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria owner Francesco Razzano is looking to sell his business at Santini Marina Plaza after more than 20 years of operating the eatery.

NATHAN MAYBERG

The native of Italy took over the establishment in the late 1990s. The deli has been on Fort Myers Beach for decades under different owners and a different name. Previously, Razzano ran a restaurant in Pittsburgh for about 25 years, he said.

Razzano arrived in America at the age of 8 with his family. His dad worked in a steel mill while his mother stayed home and took care of him and his two sisters.

After working in a tavern, he applied for a Small Business Administration loan to open up his own restaurant and "the rest is history," Razzano said.

He is a big fan of Pittsburgh sports, with a Pirates pennant, as well as Penguins and Steelers memorabilia on the walls. There is great memorable music that gets played as well from The Beach Boys to The Drifters and Roy Orbison.

Whoever buys the business will be purchasing his equipment, food and will learn all of Razzano's secret recipes. "I'll train them for a month at no cost," he said.

"I have to retire. I'm done," Razzano said while standing after a long day of work. "I've been doing it all my life."

The Bonita Springs resident said he will miss his customers but doesn't appear to have second-thoughts about his decision to retire. "There comes a time in life where you have to let go," he said.

 
 

 

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