Upper Valley Business Spotlight – Lou DelGrego’s Italian Diner

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Lou DelGrego’s Italian Diner. A mobile restaurant for hire for public and private events.
phone: 603-243-0228
website: www.loudelgregositaliandiner.com
email: louiedsdine@gmail.com
How did you come up with the name of your business/ organization?
The business’ name was named in honor of my grandmother and the celebration of my daughter.  My Grandmother’s name was Lucille DelGrego and my daughter’s name Haley Lucille Porter. We have roots in a very small town located within the Campania region of Italy.



Our mission is a very clear one taken very seriously. “Respect Tradition”. We go to great lengths to source the finest ingredients on our menu resulting in a very special Italian specialty menu. Many of our ingredients are certified and imported directly from Italy. I regularly travel a very long distance to source these myself. I feel what makes this so special, is the unrelenting passion that goes into every aspect of this business. I truly want to make people happy through this very special food and elevate their private functions through this attention to detail, authenticity, and quality for a truly special experience. I’m bringing you a taste of Italy everywhere we roll-up.

This operation was the result of years of planning and a concept I’ve been chasing and developing over many years. This restaurant is a full-on mobile Italian diner. We do weddings, rehearsals, corporate events, graduations, fairs, town concerts, and pretty much anything you think would be a good fit for this authentic premium experience. It’s so much more than just pizza and pasta. Our pasta or either imported or hand-made fresh aboard the restaurant just for your occasion. Our manicotti is a flagship of this operation and is a recipe passed down at least 3 generations I have been able to confirm. The pasta for this manicotti is a very special experience, and these are handmade from scratch one at a time. The pizzas are also a point of pride and passion. We offer both Neapolitan pizza and Sicilian pizzas, each is true to our core values of the freshest local and certified imported ingredients. What is very important to point out is we fully celebrate our “Diner” roots as well. So, we bring authentic freshly made pasta and legit pizzas all using imported flours for both the doughs and pasta, but we also bring fun and inventive creations for the diner side of the business. This ranges from truly unique quality pasta dishes to fun diner-style food and a whole line of signature premium pizzas we may offer at “walk-up service” or fair as well as upgrades for our private events. These are very popular with people who want to “next level” their special events. For example, we have a Brisket pizza that uses a French Brie, caramelized and smoked onions with whole packer brisket we smoke in the house for 17 hours! We also offer a seafood supreme that uses a white sauce, crabmeat, light diced onion and celery, and a very fine-tuned 7 cheese blend, etc. These take all the passion of our authentic pizzas and raise the bar with these “out-of-this-world” creations we seriously urge people to try. These are just 2 of our premium pizza options. They are unique creations from the test kitchen of Louie D’s they are uniquely our own combinations and unlike anything we’ve found elsewhere. we have many more and may love to discuss them with anyone who wants more information. 

What is your background? Education, Work Experience. I have an associate degree in business science, multiple courses in appraisal work as continuing education from my time as a real estate appraiser, and food handling (SERV-SAFE) education. I’ve worked in kitchens here and there over the years as well, but the cooking that has inspired me to do this mobile Italian restaurant is the cooking I did all those years with my grandmother. I also do side work as a 1-person operation contractor doing small outdoor living type projects specializing in decks, sheds and back yard escapes IE: She sheds, Man caves, kids back yard camps, taverns, etc. Basically, if it’s for backyard fun it’s on our list of things we do. This business goes by; White Mountain Camp, Deck, and Shed LLC. I also build custom Log Furniture. This is something I do not push out there as these are more of what I call “functioning artworks”. I do get commissioned from time to time to make 1 of a kind log creations using locally and responsibly harvested trees. I do have to be very cautious in accepting these inquiries as they are custom crafted from a perspective of artwork and they do take time. They range from beds to tables, picture frames you name it!

How did you get started in this business? This business was a daydream I had been fantasizing about for probably 12 years. As I was dreaming of this, I took steps early on to work hard and save toward this goal. I finally switched it into “high gear last year realizing I was only getting older, and I needed to get out there and really give this a shot before it faded away. It took a lot of reflecting to come to this decision, as my biggest fear was turning a lifelong passion for cooking these authentic Italian specialties into simply a job. I was very afraid I could lose my passion for this if I was careless about how I approached this business. This will remain a focal point as the business grows. I don’t ever want to lose my passion for this cooking. It’s embedded in my roots, close to my heart, and keeps my grandmother close to me in my heart and memories. I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait to share it with the community. 
 Where do you see your business in the next year? Growing…In the next five years? Well established and still growing hopefully!
 Right now, Lou DelGrego’s Italian Diner is a small operation relying on great people in my family and a trusted inner circle of friends (who are my extended family).

Is there anything special we should know about them? My Daughter and Wife have been incredibly supportive in more ways and longer than I could properly express. They see the passion I have for this and share in my excitement for it. I also have no less than 2 outstanding guys I consider my brothers who have helped out and continue to offer help when needed. I’ve been very fortunate in having the kind of support I get from all these very special people in my life. Many more have offered to climb aboard and help out at larger events when needed. The level of interest in people hiring us to this point has been very humbling and rewarding. So, we are looking at possibly hiring someone in the near future out of necessity to serve our growing customer base. We are doing multiple weddings, rehearsals, fairs, graduations, and concerts already this season and the inquiries continue to come in. We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve our community.
Why should your customers select you over your competitors? So, this is a tough question for me. In a small community, as we have here, I feel like it’s important to support other neighbors and small business operators like myself even when we may be in similar competitive businesses. So the best way I know how to answer this would be for folks to identify what their catering needs are. Or simply what they’re in the mood for if they are out and about when we’re parked somewhere for a casual walk-up bite to eat! If you want authentic regional Italian specialty, I feel confident we’re that unique business that offers this. You also would be hard-pressed to find someone more excited and passionate to serve you this fantastic authentic food. So, if you want traditional and regionally respected Italian food, we have a lot to offer and we take it very seriously while having a great time doing it! We “Respect Tradition” and you will taste this in everything we do. 
Do you work with any local companies, schools, and/or other community partners? If so, would you mind naming them and the partnership you have? With us being uniquely a full mobile restaurant serving the freshest portions of pasta and pizza we have the flexibility to work with virtually anyone who wants this type of food for their event. I do have plans to work with Three Bears Country Barn (Don and Shelly Drew) at their lovely country store that just opened last season. We will be there May 14th and are talking about frequent possible recurring weekday walk-up services so local folks craving a great “Slice” know where to find us easily. More to come on this as we’re working out the details on this. These are dear friends of ours and we’re very excited for this opportunity to combine the 2 making for convenience and a great destination for all things tasty, local and crafty!

 

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