By David Krechevsky
Special to The Observer
Southington will be the latest location for the continued expansion by Naugatuck-based Nardelli’s Grinders Shoppes.
The deli and restaurant chain currently has two family-owned locations and six franchises. The Southington location, at 405 Queen St., will be the company’s seventh franchise and ninth store. It is expected to open in the fall, according to company co-owner Anthony Nardelli.
Nardelli owns the third-generation, family-owned restaurant chain with his mother, Rina Nardelli, and siblings Marco Nardelli and Diana Nardelli-Troiano.
Michael Osak of Oxford will own and operate the Southington franchise, Anthony Nardelli said, adding that Osak previously was in manufacturing, but has worked with Nardelli for a few years at the company-owned Naugatuck restaurant at 87 Maple St.
Osak has not yet begun to accept job applications, but expects to hire up to 12 part- and full-time workers, Nardelli said.
“People will be able to apply at the site in August,” he said. “He will train his new staff at company stores.”
The original Nardelli family business was launched in 1920 as Nardelli’s Grocery Store on South Main Street in Waterbury, across from St. Anne’s Church. It began when three brothers – Joseph, Anthony and Frederico Nardelli – bought out the neighborhood grocery store they had been working in and put their own name on the awning.
In 1963, the business passed to a nephew of the three brothers, Joseph Nardelli, who had been working for his uncles since his arrival from San Pietro, Italy, as a teenager in 1955.
Joseph – Rina Nardelli’s husband and the father of Anthony, Marco and Diana – re-established the family business by opening the Naugatuck grinder shop in 1979, after the original Nardelli’s grocery had been claimed by an urban renewal project in 1978.
Anthony Nardelli said the company recently signed up its eighth franchise owner – Kristine Boucher of Waterbury, who has been a co-manager at the company-owned store at 540 Plank Road in Waterbury for six years. She is searching New Haven County for a location for her future franchise, he said.
In addition to the company-owned Plank Road and Naugatuck stores, the other franchise locations are in Cromwell, Danbury, Middlebury, Oxford, Southbury, and Waterbury.