Randazzo’s Italian Market Brings A Piece of Italy to Denham Springs

Antonio and Kyla Randazzo – Randazzo’s Italian Market

Randazzo’s Italian Market is a family-owned and operated business in Denham Springs with the goal of providing customers, old or new, authentic tastes from Italy. From traditional sandwiches to fresh pasta dishes at reasonable prices, Randazzo’s has what you’re looking for!

Transcript (Beta)

hey y’all it’s woody overton host of real life real crime the podcast and you’re listening to local leaders the podcast 5 369 miles this is the distance antonio randazzo is away from his home country of italy after meeting and his after meeting his eventual wife kyla who was traveling to italy when they met and after several stops along the way both kyla and antonio eventually settled here in denham springs and in 2011 opened randazzo’s italian market today we’re going to learn a little about the family behind this truly authentic italian establishment cover some great services randazzo’s offers that you may not be aware of and get the inside scoop on some of the best dishes they have so with that welcome antonio and kyla randazzo of randazzo’s italian market to local leaders of podcast how are y’all today good thank you i’ll tell you that is a mouthful with the with with those words and adjectives but i think i made it through so before we get into all the great things that were in dazzle’s offers i want to discuss a little bit about both of you and before i even do that i was telling you miss kyle i checked out your website and um i found something i thought it was just beautiful it’s uh it’s kind of like an about me type thing or about us and it’s your love story yes so um i wanted to read that and then i’m going to let you expand on it because i it really it’s really well written i don’t know who wrote it which one of y’all but uh basically says antonio and kyla met in rome italy while kyla was on vacation in 2002 even though antonio did not speak english and kala did not speak italian they became lucky in love imagine that in italy right so they married in october 8th of 2004 in rome italy and after the birth of their first son emilio they moved to virginia to start a life in the united states from the moment they moved to the states antonio grew a passion to experiment with his mother’s recipes and make delicious meals for his american family he is passionate about filling a room with fresh ingredients in italian spices for friends and family now we have been blessed beyond our dreams or they have they’re thankful i’m blessed to they are thankful for god’s blessings and and love the opportunity to share their food and love with a great community and this is only the beginning thank you jesus and thank you for making our dream come true that is absolutely uh beautiful it’s just a very well written and an amazing kind of start to that to this whole story of randazzo’s actually we had that on the back of our menu yeah so we had our love story on the back so you could kind of read that but as we grew and grew we needed more menu space for different items yeah so so you had to cut out your lunch so we had to cut out the love story which is kind of sad but we keep it on the um website yeah yeah and it’s really interesting i guess my first question on that is um you know uh antonio you didn’t speak any english at all no no english at all and you know italian at all um no i did not speak in any italian but i took spanish so between high school and college it took about seven years as spanish i lived in san antonio for a while so i spoke pretty pretty decent spanish and so um i don’t know i just i always said i added novella and a little bit of hand gestures and he understood me but for a long time it was to a point like we would go out and we would say you know i would just ask them like how do you say this like necklace or how do you say this and i would um it was always very studious so i would write everything down so if i would learn a new word i would write it down so anywhere i would go on a date i’d have my dictionary and my notebook and a pen and um i was just constantly looking up but um and checking out like he would say something i would write it down and research it and sometimes things sounded prettier than what they were yes so um i actually was there with a friend of mine who um her dad was italian and um they had a house over there and so that’s um we were there kind of at her house and we took a semester out of school and the idea was tour around italy but we didn’t tour as much as we wanted to but we stayed there and so she spoke italian so sometimes i would go home to her and be like okay what did he say like he said this you know and then she would tell me later i’m like okay you know it’s interesting today now if if this would have been today you could have had your phone and you yeah you know they’ve got the translate now that would have made it so much easier but i probably would have never learned because that’s right yeah i would just have relied on on that yeah and then whenever i moved back to texas to finish school and he was still in italy then writing it that was the first time i really had to write it because we would email yes um because we didn’t have face time we didn’t have any of that then so i would email so i kind of learned to tie in that way because first i learned more communic uh communication like i could speak it yes um but there was a few times well more than a few a lot of times that him and i could understand each other but nobody else could understand me because he knew my vocabulary so he would change things around um so that i could understand it and instead of conjugating a verb he would say like in the past or in the future you just say the full verb instead of conjugating it out yes and uh finally his mom came to him and was like if you’re serious about her you need to teach her real italian you can’t keep teaching her like that italian and so when i eventually moved back his mom really she was the person that really helped me speak it and get comfortable like where i could go out and speak to other people and order my own food yeah and now you’re flowing in it right yes i am sometimes um his parents still struggle to understand me sometimes yes more the accent not not the words yeah yeah yeah and when i was there all the time it was it was fine but um now that i come back and my accent’s even stronger so when we go back to visit they struggle sometimes yeah yeah just as parents nobody else just as parents yeah well that’s that’s look i’ve heard a lot of love stories in my time that is just unbelievable that y’all met did not speak but you spoke the language of love right and and uh so you look at each other’s eyes and you just kind of knew and and uh wasn’t gonna let something like uh language keep you apart so that’s a that’s a fantastic thing now after several stops along the way in your life you eventually settled in denim springs and i know that uh you had told me a story about how your mother who was here and and uh kind of told you you need to come to louisiana right right tell us about that yeah so well kind of in the past every time my mom and my stepfather moved to a place and i moved there they move away so for example they were living in virginia when we moved from italy to virginia within a year year and a half they moved and they moved to louisiana yes we had just had our second child at the time and just bought a house so at that time i said i will never move to louisiana because my mom was trying to get me to move with her again and i said no and that had nothing to do with louisiana it was just for the point that they would always

we would establish ourselves at a location or at a place and then they would move away and um so never say never that’s my lesson yeah so um about four years later we were ready to open something up and we had done all of our research and kind of made a business plan and we really wanted to open up in virginia originally because we were established there but we had no family so my mom said you know you should really come here and antonio was fine um he’s really fine going wherever you go with the flow right antonio i just moved whatever italy to america so yeah yeah what’s one state to another i get it 100 so um one evening i decided to start looking online i put some applications in um one of the companies called me that next day they flew me out that next day and as i was flying out i knew and it seemed pretty good that they they were very interested and i was going to get the job so i called a friend of mine who was a real estate agent who had already all the information on our house and i told her it was about it was real early in the morning like five or six and i told her to go ahead and put the house on the market and so by the time i landed in louisiana i went to my job interview she had told me that they were going to have somebody look at the house so i called him tony asked him make sure you’re out of the house you know she has to show it you can’t show it take the kids we had two boys at the time emilio mateo and i said just just make sure the house is clean but don’t stay there and of course he stayed there and he showed them hit the house himself and not the real estate agent so i was really nervous like oh my gosh he showed the house like you’re not supposed to like and the kids are running around like crazy i’m sure and so um i just didn’t think much of it well i got the job on the spot there um here well here in louisiana yeah and so i called my parents they were in mexico and they said what are you gonna do about the house and i don’t know trust god i guess because this is i don’t know what else to do and then within an hour and a half my real estate agent friend called me and said they wanted the house they wanted us out in two weeks and cash sale and that was it wow so i called and tell me i said start collecting boxes i’m coming back and we’re gonna pack and leave and so i sold almost everything including our second car we sold on craigslist wow um furniture everything so we loaded up our explorer we had a 2005 explorer we loaded everything up and off you went yeah louisiana here we come and we did we started all over we started from from scratch you know i started working and he started really putting together a menu and you know a friend of ours where we lived in virginia she was in the marketing and so she helped create our website and everything for us and so that kind of all came together and so he worked on what we’re going to do with the restaurant part and i worked and he helped with the kids and that’s kind of how it all started wow what a what an amazing story and then now you mentioned kids so how many kids do you have now so we have three yep um emilio is 16 he was born in rome and then mateo is now 14 he was born in virginia and then the baby’s four wow so sophia that’s a big spread though yeah so i was actually pregnant when it flooded so she was born in uh november 2016. oh and um wow yeah so i wanted a girl really bad and so we i thought i had planned it perfectly but apparently god had other choices so but yeah so she um she she’s the last she’s definitely the caboose and uh yeah and she rolls it rolls the roost and so do does your 16 year old work in in brandeis yes he does he um he’s been working there and he helps in the kitchen a lot he’s very he’s very reliable in the kitchen and he’s really shown a lot of interest in um business and the marketing aspect and that’s what he’s kind of gearing up to do is kind of help us take over um because it’s a lot of work i mean yes not just help in the kitchen but we you know we’ve always kind of wanted our kids to be able to take over and maybe eventually grow to a second location where they could kind of absolutely help out that’s kind of the plan but who knows whatever they desire will do absolutely but you know you can’t replace experience of working in your parents business right and he’s getting business since training right now and and uh that you can’t buy i mean it’s just he’s in there and and it’s so valuable uh for young people to really work with in my opinion small business owners uh and really grasp what it’s like you know what the it’s not all diamonds and and pearls right it’s a lot of work i think in the beginning he was like you really work this hard like i think they didn’t realize like how hard we really work and um and actually this weekend we were so busy and he’s definitely a reminder he’s like mom drink water he’s like coming up he’s like stay hydrated you have to stay hydrated in front of the oven yes and so he’s really starting to get it that you know it is hard work and it just doesn’t come it really is and we’re going to get into a little of that hard work in just a little while but i want to talk about when you opened randazzo’s finally in october of 2011. now what would you say was kind of the the most challenging aspect of actually getting open and you know all of those sorts of things would it be kind of a location thing where you were you know looking for that or was it a paperwork thing or a little bit it was um in the beginning the location was hard for us to decide because you know do you want to rent a spot or do you want to buy the building that’s always like beginning any kind of endeavor you know that’s kind of and i’m sure you kind of thought about the same thing like and how much money do you really have to invest um banks don’t uh just give out money so to speak especially to restaurants because there’s such a high turnover in restaurants and so that was kind of our challenging point but we really wanted a house yes and that’s we really didn’t want to waver on that so it’s hard to find a house to rent for a restaurant so we decided um you know i’m very lucky that my parents helped us invest so my mom and papa carl they invested in the house part they bought the house and everything so we have been very blessed in that yes and papa coral yes and so once we um once we established that and the house because with the house you get this effect that you’re eating with us you know that you’re coming to our house and we wanted to feel like you’re going to your italian grandmother’s or your italian aunt and that’s kind of how we got the same ninjati kanoi which is eat with us love it say that again he says it much better oh perfect you say it perfect her accent a little bit um but the lady that i was talking about who did the marketing who lived above us in virginia yes um we would always tell her like come eat with us like should we get home and we’d be cooking and so we’d always say come meet with us

and so she said that has to be your thing and so that’s kind of how we got it um but at the beginning the hardest thing i think is um we had a different mindset of what we were opening up to be yeah we had um set it up according to a place in richard which is kind of like have to have a full deli case and you kind of go in and you say okay i want a quarter pound of that i want this i want that and you kind of go set a table and you eat different things and you and they have pasta specials too but it’s like three pasta specials and they’re different each time yes and so and then we were gonna add sandwiches and pizza always had like a few sandwiches like four sandwiches and like a pizza that you could create so our menu was very limited yes and it was you order up at the register and then we kind of put things together and then give it to you to take out we only had like how many tables do we have in the beginning

like four or five six maybe yeah um so it was more on this like like this little small cafe type thing it wasn’t meant to like the full like restaurant service type thing and but people wanted that and that’s kind of what it was geared to so when people start coming in and you know and sitting down at a table it was like this kind of confusion of like you know what are we right and then um the two goats you know the two ghosts were really busy too and so it was like okay we have to kind of rethink our layout and you know it’s just those growing pains but we um which is always a good thing to have growing pains but we had them so early in the very beginning and so we were like okay hold up we have to kind of rethink this because i was still working it was just antonio and papa carl and in there yeah papa carl was like the head guy who’s kind of taking orders and talking to people and he was in the kitchen and so i’m like okay if this is where you know our dream and this is what you know we’ve been very blessed to have people coming in and call like i have to i have to quit where i was working and come full time yeah so that was like in the first week we opened we had to make that decision and yes so it was a lot quicker than i thought because entrance and you have all these other dynamics that you’re not thinking of behind it but it’s like okay if we’re putting everything into this then i need you know i have to be there yes and um so you know and you you set a good point there that is extremely important and i’ve talked about this on other shows but i personally believe that you know i’m a it’s no secret i love small private business and i love business owners and all those things and i’m a big believer that a lot of people don’t kind of take that jump because of things like insurance you know it almost stops them from from well how am i going to have insurance you know my job pays for my insurance and i hate that about um hate is a strong word but i don’t like the fact that it it um it can hinder someone from following their dream you know and uh especially when you have children i mean you had children right at this point so insurance is a huge thought um so shout out to both of you for um taking the lead just jumping you know hey we’re gonna you know we believe in it and um and sometimes that’s all you can have is your your your faith and god with you and you just take that chance and and uh you did and it worked out um uh i will tell you this you you mentioned the layout and the feel of the house and or of the establishment which is a house um i went in there the other day uh and got some food and i’m gonna talk about that in a little while but i was immediately impressed by the atmosphere it wasn’t um it wasn’t you know you you have different types of architecture with restaurants and all those sorts of things it was very um welcoming and i felt like i was walking in you know someone’s house to have food have dinner uh and uh i love that that’s you know it almost relaxes you when you walk in there it’s it’s uh and y’all were busy i was like man i am impr i couldn’t even find a parking spot initially i’m like this is great yeah i went in there everybody’s laughing and you know eating and drinking wine and it was just uh it looked like everybody was having a good time families were there at certain tables and so i encourage anyone go check it out if you have not yet and and uh they have a little bit of everything and we’re going to cover all of that but just a beautiful atmosphere there um now at some point so initially when you opened up it was a it was a deli and you you know your thing was we want to slice meat for you we want to slice cheese for you and you have some i want to talk about your cheeses and things like that a little bit you have some options that are not you know you can’t find on every every uh at every grocery store for example so tell me about those um well he’s actually one of the special he’s he can probably talk on that because i like the cheeses but he likes the meats yeah yeah right now we’re kind of limited on our cheeses because we were gone for italy and it takes like three weeks to get these special special special ordered cheese so they actually come from italy italy oh wow okay yeah tell us about some of the cheeses you offer i’m having three or four different cheeses yeah especially the fresh asiago is very nice cheese yeah soft soft yeah and parmigiano-reggiano pegorino romano from

lady prima donna it’s called the first lady it’s different yeah and you know the most seldom them parmigiano regional yeah a lot of people buy just chunk and one two pound every time yeah and and it’s expensive too cheese because parmigiano-reggiano expensive two in italy too so yeah then you gotta get it over here a little bit more expensive well and you know it’s okay it’s probably really good yeah people spend money because i don’t like it yeah she is and don’t care for the money yes we have a wine cheese too that’s purple so it’s great for any of the charcuterie boards because it kind of gives it a pop of color it’s it’s nice the port wine cheese oh that’s interesting you know the interesting thing about cheese is is they’re all you know they all have their own different taste some are bitter some are really sharp and they have a you know really strong taste some are soft cheeses that have just a little bit of flavor um and you can get all of those folks at randazzo’s many different flavors and i’m sure you could talk to the staff there and just kind of tell them what you know i’m looking for what you’re looking for or what you’re wanting to pair it with and y’all can yeah and that’s actually antonio’s passion is really the meats and cheeses and so as long as we’re not right at lunch hour or dinner hour then we like to really spend time with people and let them taste it and try it yes sometimes they send them home with different things so like hey go home and try this like we have pepper shooters which is a it’s like a green cherry pepper stuffed with sharp provolone and prosciutto yeah and it’s nice for any salads or chicken report or just to eat by itself he likes to put like a mozzarella next to it and kind of that way the mozzarella is soaked up the flavors of the spicy flavor that cherry pepper yeah um but there’s so many different things that we do offer that’s you know different but we don’t get to spend that time that we used to get to spend because we’re so busy in the kitchen but if you come in off hours we really would like to let you try everything yes yeah because when you’re busy i see y’all running back there y’all have one speed and it’s uh 900 miles an hour but really rocking and rolling it’s a blessing right we’ve all been too busy and too slow i’m sure we’d all prefer too busy uh as the alternative now like any business you know you were rocking along at that five-year point um the five-year mark’s important and before we go kind of any further i want to give the viewers and listeners some stats on on that five-year milestone so approximately 20 of small businesses fail during the first two years of being open 45 believe it or not within the first five so at that five year point you’ve basically beat uh you know you’ve surpassed the average uh you know half of them half of them shut down before that point so yes we made it past that point and then boom 2016 occurs right actually october 2016 would have been five years and then as most most people know august 2016 is when it yes the flood happens so yes and so tell us kind of about that experience um with randazzo’s personally how did the flood affect you um it wiped us out completely again we just felt like we had to start from ground zero we had sold our house so we were living with my parents at the time and my mom and papa carl and their house flooded as well and so that evening well three days later after we kind of were established at a location my mom said well what do you want to do like we can just call it even right now and we’ll just go somewhere else and we can start again you know i’ll help you again or we can you know stay here like what do you want and to me it wasn’t an option so i said well we’re gonna reopen like why wouldn’t we like i my kids are established in the school system here we like the school system we have friends family you know i really like louisiana like i feel established and i don’t i don’t i don’t want to leave yes and so she said okay as long as you’re fine then we’ll stay too and we’ll just rebuild and um and at this point we didn’t know what everybody else was doing like is every you know so many people flooded it’s like everybody’s gonna leave and not gonna have yes and we’re not gonna have any customers or what so um i just prayed on it and i just knew that that was the right thing and as soon as we published on social media that we were staying open antonio i was like an hour later or something antonio was at the restaurant and our first person came by and gave him a hundred dollars or three hundred dollars i think it was and he came home and he was just you know kyla like and he wanted to give the money back to the guy and the guy was like no take it this is a blessing for you and i had to tell antonio i said i know it’s hard to be on the other end but we have helped other people this is our time to be helped and we have to like be able to accept that blessing with a gracious heart and just be thankful for you know what people give us and what you know we can get because at this point we need it and it’s so hard to be on to be the the receiver when typically you’re always the giver and so that was a life lesson and it was a great lesson you know um and i think my kids learned a lot too because they’re so used to saying hey mom like i want this i want this and we were moving to a new school system and um so they wanted wanted and finally you know you have to sit down with them but like no like this is where we’re at these are our finances this is what’s going on and you know we’ve always been open and honest with the kids and so you know they they understood and it was a hard time for them too but everything we put back into the restaurant so all of our savings everything 100 we put back but we were um we just felt very blessed during that time a lady from georgia donated all of our floors to us oh wow and so amazing yeah i’m i’m a list person normally so i had all of my list of what everything was going to cost and my cost sheet my spreadsheet of everything and when i went you’re a little organized

when i’m really busy i kind of get not organized and drives me crazy but when i have time to actually sit in the office i try to organize myself so and i had a lot of time then because we weren’t working so i organized my spreadsheet and when we went to go talk to the floors it was like four times what i had planned and i had budgeted four so i was like okay what are we gonna do so of course i pray about it and um like a month later a lady came to the restaurant and um asked to tour around we never met her and antonio talked to her and then they called me up to the floor store and she said i want to bless you with floors and so the price we ended up paying was actually the labor and it was what i budgeted it was like point on for the budget which was just labor and i’ve always said you know it’s just the small things like that that really leads you to know that you know you are in the right place and you are doing that i am doing the right thing and we are um you know it’s like kind of like yes in a point of uncertainty it’s like okay you know you you are doing the right thing and so it’s just those little things that came back but we were able to donate like 36 000 uh just from people helping us out every day we would get like gift cards in the mail like that that was just words of encouragement um people we have a lot of customers that come from texas that they travel to florida and they kind of stop here midway and so those people reached out to us and you know i maybe see them once a year and so it’s just beautiful to know that you can touch people like that yes um just for the small amount of time that they’re here and that’s really what our goal was in the beginning so it makes you know that you know you are doing the right thing yes it really does and and um you know all of us were kind of in that together i had a business and a home flood all at the same time three kids wife and and uh and you know we were up on highway 16 three days you know uh along with a thousand other people right so everybody was in it together and i often tell people in my opinion it brought out the best in people it was an experience that i think all of us can say if we can get through that we can get through pretty much anything it doesn’t get much worse for any of us than that um and we came out of it stronger all of us did yeah it was a city we did as a parish and as people right um i say it on the show all the time it changed me in a lot of ways for the positive i wasn’t a bad person before the flood but um whatever it did to me it made me really become a person that has so much empathy for people now um and for that i’m forever grateful i really am so i think that’s a beautiful thing and you paid it forward and of course y’all do do some things for charities that we’re gonna get into in a little while or non-profits we should call them and uh but we wanna talk about your restaurant a little more um so randazzo’s is much more than a typical deli and really much more than a typical restaurant one of the things that kind of separates randazzos is you offer fresh egg pasta right so you have a pasta machine and when i went in there the other day i was like a six-year-old kid i was sitting there looking at this the pasta come out of the machine i thought that was i was like wow that’s cool so you can make all these different types of pastas and uh so to me that’s kind of one thing that separates you from most restaurants and delis uh that you would come across now when it comes to the offerings the things that y’all offer y’all aren’t short of options right you offer dine in which is extremely popular as i found out when i went in there uh just you know i’ll tell you this i got a uh lasagna three cheese lasagna and they have taken bakes so you can take them uh let’s say you want to put it in the oven yourself you don’t have time to sit down and eat but you need to grab the kids you know something and the and the wife or the husband or whatever so you go and they have these uh trays and and i got a tray of that of that lasagna brought it home uh heated it up and it was uh check this out molto bamy yes that that’s what it was it was yummy it lasted all of one day before my five-person family tore it apart and and we all we all uh ate it and very good um now i have your dining menu here and i’m just gonna ask y’all what y’all think i’ll have you pick like appetizers what would you say was one of your more popular appetizers that you have well the bread tray is probably the most popular it’s just the bread with the um dipping sauce yes so it’s the parmesan olive oil with the aged balsamic vinegar yeah um yum but cheese and meatboard is definitely our favorite yes yes and and they also have uh folks uh uh tomato and olive salad bruschetta uh a meatball bruschetta yeah actually it’s like a cake there you go see i’m gonna i’m gonna speak italian before we’re done with this episode uh meatball you have a meatball appetizer yeah looks really good an italian pepper trio you got some smoked salmon uh yes yes and spinach and artichoke dip which is a favorite of mine i love spinach and artichoke dip so on on the appetizer side you got plenty of options uh your salads another important thing people are kind of watching their you know their figures now and things like that so don’t feel like well i can’t eat it in an italian place because they don’t have anything healthy oh they got plenty of plenty of locale low uh maybe even some low carb stuff there that can help you out um what’s your most popular salad um the muffilata salad is pretty popular so it’s um basically a muffilata without the bread so you have the romaine lettuce your olive mix blended in and you have all the meats and cheeses on there it’s a really pretty and um it’s it’s a great filling salad um that kyla salad has become i saw that it’s big salad yeah they need an antonio salad he has a sandwich oh okay there you go yes that looked wonderful as well and there’s about six or seven options on there on the salads my favorite is actually the caprese salad with the prosciutto and olives so that’s that’s right yes so it’s just it could praise these just your um tomatoes with the fresh mozzarella again we slice them like as you order it we slice has the prosciutto with it so you can kind of i like to wrap the prosciutto around the meats and cheese and kind of make a roll yum and then your olives is just a little extra that sounds lovely speaking of olives when i went in there there were these giant olives in the um i guess the deli case the green one i almost got something i stared at him and i’m like i want some of those but i was already getting so much i didn’t want people to look at me like my goodness doesn’t he have an appetite um but i will be back for those all i’m assuming they’re stuffed the ones i think the ones you’re talking about is a pepper it’s the cherry pepper i was thinking okay yeah it looks like an olive it looks like an olive pepper yes it is giant but we have the big green olive but it’s just with the seeds but we do have that too it’s just so i love all of y’all i love olives yeah it’s a southern italy olive um i call it a sweet olive kind of has like a sweetness to it because i call it in italy it’s called dolce so don’t need to do yes so um those are good too and then we have the peppadews i don’t know if you saw those the little red ones yes they look like tomatoes but it’s actually a pepper as well and then we stuff those in back we stuff it with a goat cheese and it’s like candy it’s just it’s it’s good i know all y’all out there are hungry right now uh and my favorite look my favorite food of all time right i’m um i’m kind of plain in that way but pizza i love pizza um you have some pizza there and i was happy to see you have a cauliflower crust pizza for those that you know that’s important to them and and i like cauliflower crust pizza but you can also get a traditional pizza but you do it a little different you need your dough yes the pizza i mean just grill the dog yes buy sides yes and finish with the marinara sauce and parmigiano and cherry mozzarella and whatever the customer wants pepperoni on yeah veggie whatever and finish in the oven for 10 minutes yeah and it’s coming a little bit smoothie because i’m grilled the dog first yes and it’s a lot different but a lot of people like it especially the kids love it because it’s different you know it’s interesting pizza and yeah so the people happy and then enjoy yes and look the kids and me we both like because i’m a pizza yeah it’s like a grilled flat bread but it has it still has this like softness with it yes um and on our appetizer we have focaccia that’s actually that same thing but it just doesn’t have the marinara and everything yeah it’s that grilled flatbread and then with the prosciutto on top for the focaccia but yes well that’s going to be my next thing i’m going to try yeah yes the pizza in the beginning the kids would be kind of weary because they would see black marks and so we would always have to tell them you know teach my staff to tell them hey it’s grilled and once they know it’s grilled and they realize it’s going to have black marks they love it like i love when kids come in i’m like this is my favorite because it’s so different and um it kind of opens them up to like different things and so it’s i love i love good eaters when good good eaters and they’re not picky and they just love to try new things well i’m bringing all mine in i’m gonna bring i got 15 year old twin girls so i’m going to bring them in my 18 year old son and my wife and myself and we’re going to come sit around eat pizza and olives and all kinds of things yes um also and you mentioned your staff i did want to say this when i went in there and i ordered that lasagna uh to go um they were very good about kind of explaining to me she says now have you ever got this lasagna before and i said no and she says when you get it you may want to kind of slice it before you put it in the oven and that just makes it easier when it’s done and you pull it out and you want to you know put some on a plate it makes it easier it doesn’t all fall apart or anything like that um very informative and i and i was impressed because not a whole lot of people take time to explain that stuff anymore and you go home you throw it in there you don’t think about cutting it and that’s it’s hard to get out of there so uh shout out to your staff uh who y’all have obviously trained really well and they’re very friendly very friendly um so i want to talk about your pastas a little bit and we talked about lasagna which is which was one we just absolutely loved but you’ve got some grilled eggplant pasta you have a shrimp spaghetti with alla vodka that’s interesting and i bet yummy um you you know you and i talked when you when we met the first time and you had mentioned that spaghetti in in meatballs in the um i guess the american traditional sense and the actual way that it is in italy are a little different yes tell me about that yeah so in italy you typically don’t have your protein on your pasta so you would just eat just the pasta and it would be a smaller portion than typically what americans do yes so you have like two plates you have like your primo piato which is your first plate which would be a pasta dish and the second plate is your protein so whether it be like a chicken parmesan or your meatballs um but the meatballs typically are not served at restaurants that’s something that’s a dish that you would eat more at home in italy yeah interesting i don’t think i’ve ever seen it on a menu yet leave it to the united states to have to change up a perfect thing what are these meatballs doing on here but yeah we don’t have as much time i think people are always more on the go so it’s you know it’s faster for all like on one plate so whatever works works and so yes indeed and you know their menu doesn’t stop there folks they got sandwiches they’ve got some great desserts on that menu um another thing i want to mention when you walk in you have a great wine selection right and people people wouldn’t think that you know or maybe they don’t know that that uh that’s gonna be your wine stop but you’ve got some great wines there dressings you offer dressings i’m a balsamic vinaigrette guy that’s my dressing that’s what i like on everything and you have some there uh so i’ll be getting some of that too uh so you’ve really got a vast menu regardless of what your taste is right you’re gonna find something that randazzo’s for you uh i can promise you that but guess what they also do they also do catering right and you do a lot of it it’s pretty pretty big part of your business yeah um it’s not as big as it used to be um we’ve really um since the flood we’ve kind of geared more into the restaurant we enlarged our parking we’re able to buy that built building next to us land next to us so we have more parking so it’s really we’ve put a lot more into the actual restaurant and had more tables but the catering we do as well we cater a lot of schools we do discounts and help free delivery for the schools we’ve done different businesses stuff like that sure um but we have in the past we’ve done weddings dinner rehearsals but it’s kind of hard to juggle both so we have really put a lot more back into the restaurant yeah but we do other caterings as well excellent we’re closed sunday and monday so a few times we actually ran out the place for like baby showers and oh that’s catering yes inside as well fantastic there’s a lot of opportunity there’s a lot of stuff that we do it’s not just the restaurant which yes yeah people don’t realize it’s a lot more to it well they’re going to realize it now so yes you do do all those things and and you know they have a catering menu that you can stop in anytime they’re open and you can take one and and uh and whoever you’re planning on doing this event with you can look over it it’s got all the prices there and there’s a vast array of of things that they cater and what i like about it is you really break it down very well one of the things that struck my eye when i was looking at it was you offer box lunch sandwiches right yes that’s pretty cool yeah we kind of offered that in the beginning we had a lot of um pharmaceutical reps and that were doing different medical offices so we actually offered that um kind of from the beginning because that was something that they had requested and yeah but now with the whole code restrictions we actually offer like a pasta box lunch as well so it’s like a lasagna or spaghetti it comes with the mini cannoli in a salad um that’s something we just recently you know recently in the last year or so with the whole covered restrictions um people can’t have the big pans yes that they used to so they uh request separate boxes it’s easier for them to get to individuals without touching and that sort of thing yeah so calling all realtors as well you know you want to bring some or or uh mortgage companies that want to smooch up to these realtors it’s a great thing to bring that office you know some box lines yes we actually offer charcuterie um boards as well i think you and i had just yeah obviously so that’s something really trendy right now it’s great we offer a lot of meats and cheeses on it and i love making them yeah so yeah it’s um me and another girl we like to make them and it’s just all about the art and decorating and setting it up very nice yeah and so those are great little gifts as well it’s a 10 inch board and it has a box and a little ribbon that we put on it so it’s great for realtors and item companies that like the referral you know so it’s always great to have a little appreciation token for people like that absolutely i agree 100 and you offer classes even for them yes i do yeah fantastic so do you announce those kind of you know it’s not like an every week thing it’s kind of a special event yeah it’s like a monthly i was trying to do monthly um but with a trip and school starting i didn’t do it in august but probably in september we’ll have one and i just post on social media fantastic and then we’ll post that inside but they fill up pretty quickly well i will tell you um what my wife in particular asked me to ask you and that was do you offer wine tastings so we did offer wine tasting for up until the whole covet thing yeah but we don’t not do wine tasting but we do a wine class oh she’ll be that’s just as good i think she’s just looking for an excuse to drink wine well the charcuterie class is a great one to drink wine too because you can do one board between two people that way you can both split the cost of that board and then you can enjoy a bottle of wine as well there you go so yeah but the wine class uh we have we have a wine specialist his name is antonio yeah we have antonio so and they are like a who near each other they both have personalities yes but um so that’s just worth the money there watching them be crazy but um yeah so he offers the wine class he comes in and does a great teaching of that and that is five times a year but this next one is actually tuesday tomorrow

it’s full but um oh it’s full however um we will offer another one i don’t remember the date i think it’s november 3rd but i have to get back with them yes yes let me know as soon as you get it um and she’ll hopefully she won’t be too mad at me but can’t you pull a string i can hear her only only italian one yeah italian wines yeah i only saw it love it that’s the only ones that are any good anyway

we try to give emily a little extra credit here yes yeah speaking of that they did pretty good in the olympics you know italy had some good good uh runs there in the olympics several different sports so i’d actually thought about y’all when i was watching it was i love watching the olympics and watching it in italy actually i think it’s the first time i’ve ever watched it in italy i’m not sure i think i watched a winter olympics once but it was great kind of to see their take on it because they show mostly it’s italians yeah sorry in america you see like all the highlights of america yeah but of course i mean you saw the highlights in america too but they show a lot of um a lot of the like italy stuff so it was cool to watch how well they did this year and watching italy we enjoyed it yeah yeah i did too i love it one of my favorite things to watch is the olympics now would you say the prep is really the most time-consuming aspect of what you do it is yes takes forever don’t what it is you know and the reason i bring that up is um regardless of the business but look the restaurant business y’all in my opinion and i’ve said a lot of people from a lot of restaurants down in these chairs um the hardest workers there are are restaurant owners because your hours are different right you’re you know when everybody else is getting off work and they’re going to eat dinner you’re working um and when everybody’s going to eat lunch and take a break that’s your busiest time so um

you know prep for that for restaurants and things like that is just a time it seems like that is that takes more time than the actual when you open the doors and everybody’s coming in and that’s a lot it does take a lot of time yeah um so we’re limited but there’s so many things other things that we want to do but we um are limited because of you know the prep and the time um but a lot of things like the mafulata we slice per order so there are a lot of things that we do per order um the pizza again we grill it per order so those things again take time so it takes a little bit of time even like if you order them off a lot it takes a little longer but we don’t want to prep all of those meats and cheeses because it dries out sure they’re really fresh quality so we want to keep it fresh and so that’s his thing he’s all about fresh and a lot of times i’m like we can prep that we can prep that and he’s like no i want it fresh and so good good and freezing all of our lasagnas none of them are frozen we make them fresh daily so that trap with the lasagna it’s it’s a lot yes um the meatballs none of them are frozen we make them daily so um again sometimes we run out yes so saturday night we actually ran out of meatballs like 8 30 which is i mean we closed at 9 but right so it was um so yeah it is hard sometimes to kind of gather like how much we’re gonna prep or how much time we have and what takes precedence so you know what should we do more of that sort of thing and you never know yeah um so yeah we try our best though we try really hard to get everything done you do a great job really a great job and and uh and like i say i was i was just blown away at the atmosphere the the service there the um your staff was just amazing and uh and no complaints whatsoever on that now you have a big social media following so um you have over 8 700 fans on facebook on your business page how valuable has social media kind of been to your business um very valuable especially in this last year with everything happened with copied and we kind of had to close down i um that’s the first time i really i did a lot of lives i really did a lot of social media at that time um i wanted to keep everybody up to date and it’s such a great way to be able to hit a lot of people at once and tell them like where we are and we have such great customers and i think so many people were really worried about us like are you gonna be okay so it’s one of those things where we could tell them like hey we’re fine but this is what we’re offering yes um and to be honest and clear with people and you know at that time last year in march when everything had shut down we were able to offer like all of our deli meets and um we could offer meats uh we were selling gallons of milk and you know we’re licensed as a meat market as well so we could do all of that and so people i set up like a whole market up front like in the front room and people would i would use social media to show people what we would have and they would call and order and make their grocery lists and we would put everything in bags they would pull up pop the trunk and we would put it in there and it was a great way to help them and they helped us at the same time it wasn’t for social media we wouldn’t have been able to offer something like that indeed and and um excuse me you know one of the things with um with covid that i’ve said to several people is uh it look 2020 was uh nobody wants to go through that again least of all restaurants and things like that that really got hit you know between y’all um health health clubs and uh hairdressers those were uh three businesses that really got hit hard one thing that i was impressed with though was it forced everybody to kind of revamp and innovate and come up with a different way to sell their product whatever it was just like what you were talking about you went on you took to facebook and all those things and innovated um health clubs they had a lot of them they were doing their exercises on facebook live it makes me wonder you know what if there wouldn’t have been a facebook and so as much as people like to um stray away from social media sometimes and it’s a good thing you need to unplug every now and then there’s no doubt about it thank god we had something like that in that time because that literally made the difference between somebody going out of business and staying in business in a lot of cases um so and we did innovate and some people have still stuck to those innovations because they were so successful they’re like well you know i’m gonna continue to i know an auction company that um auctions people couldn’t go to live auctions so this auction started auctioning off on facebook live right they still do it to this day because people love it yeah so in interesting little sidebar there um now speaking of social media i wanted to read some of the comments that you had on your social media and kind of shout out some of your fans they’ll get a kick out of it and these are some really good things that i wanted to read off so miss tracy jennings said great authentic food cozy atmosphere would definitely recommend we will be back so what a that’s pretty nice uh thing there miss brook addison said wish i could give you all the stars possible love this place uh miss jetty carter hoffman said our dining experience was very delightful fresh food and delicious and the service was top notch uh and miss kathy picarell stated fresh authentic food excellent service and quaint atmosphere so uh you know your peeps love it as much as y’all do very good very good and those are i think it’s important to mention um you know if you have a good experience at randazzo’s uh make sure you know that you go on social media and you kind of share that experience it’s amazing how much google and facebook and all those internet things it’s amazing how much importance they place in that so make sure you do that now like many local leaders you give back and you’re involved in some some non-profits one of them being a launch and uh one of them being the veterans of four wars the vfw tell us about those um so launch i’ve always kind of helped here and there um there were customers of ours yeah so um they would ask me for something and we would you know we donate a lot not just lunch but other places like that but this year i decided to get more involved and so i helped them with their charity um with their um their yearly gala that they did and so i really dived in and really was like they make such a big difference in kids lives they really help not only the kid but they help the parents kind of help guide them in different ways when a kid has a disability or has you know just even the smallest like speech impediment they help they um you just don’t know where to go to sometimes and so they have such a resource of information and not only help with the counseling of it but just helping them get the resources that they need and so i really listening to other listening to the parents tell me like when i started getting involved and posting and you know saying different things people like oh yeah we go there they have helped me and just listening to their testimonies has really encouraged me to help them even more so i’m definitely going to be involved again next year with their gala as well and it has opened my eyes to you know a whole new system yeah and um which is great excellent excellent and then the vfw i know you have kind of a family uh hookup with that as well uh papa carl yeah so papa carl um so my parents are owners as well but they’re not as involved in the restaurant business um so it really has given them more time to be involved in different things and so his passion is you know vfw and so he’s really gotten involved and been able to help with that and so we’re going to partner up september 4th and we’re doing a fundraiser for them to help uh give a scholarship for a student in denham springs so i’ll be posting i haven’t posted anything yet so i’ll be posting more information on that but we will have a table set up for like um people missing in action that sort of thing so it’s going to be one of those like silent tables but you can come and donate money and that money will go to a scholarship what a great cause yeah and we want other restaurants to hopefully get involved and do that sort of thing yes to have a table there so but rendazo’s will be the first kind of yeah for his guinea pig to make sure you know it works and work out all the kinks before he sends it to other tape uh other restaurants fantastic so look for that and papa carl’s been calling me and i owe him a phone call i know you’re watching uh and i have you on my list i promise uh so what a great what a great thing there and i’m i’m gonna actually link both of those non-profits to uh to the description of this video and that way people can go and they can click on it learn more about it really quick and easy uh one thing that we like to do on this show with uh with all of our guests is cover some fun facts um just a way to learn a little bit more about both of you and uh so the first thing i asked you was if you purchased a yacht what would you name it okay so i filled that out i didn’t ask continue so let’s see what he’ll say if if you had a name yeah okay no mehmet

good question he doesn’t antonio i never think about it bro i know we’re both so yeah yeah i put bellaroma

so i i love rome and um so i would say yes and look folks when they say rome they mean the real rhyme they mean like the coliseum room right yeah it’s just so breathtaking every time we go there and just see it and just to see all these buildings and how they built it and well ryan was not built in a day but um it’s just it’s amazing and the place he’s from is actually austria which is like 25 minutes from rome depending on traffic um but they have a lot of old ruins as well and so austrian tica it used to be the old port of rome and just driving by there and just seeing all of this um it’s different when you live there you’re so used to it’s in your backyard but when you’re gone for so long and you go back and you just see it it’s just it’s absolute yeah you love italy i can tell look i folks i asked if you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go she said italy you love it you love it and there’s a few more on there but we’re like an hour and two minutes in so we well i want to go ahead and sorry well on the next time they come on then we’ll we’ll get into the other two that she said now i want to leave the viewers what i felt was a great quote uh another quote y’all have y’all are just full of all this awesome information um but i wanted to read the back of your this is your regular menu and um catering yeah or the catering menu is that what yes the catering menu with devotion to my family and a love for cooking we are happy to bring randazzo’s italian market to the denim springs area we are sit or aren’t or not simply a deli or good food fast randazzo’s ensures the highest quality ingredients with an authentic taste of italy in an easy affordable accessible way in addition to our catering consider to visit our why consider a visit to our market enjoy glass of our house wine and fresh pasta or select a carry-out item from our prepared taste of italy originally from rome italy owner and chef antonio randazzo now resides in the states with his wife and three children proud to call louisiana home and even more excited to bring the flavors of italy to you this family and business love family owned takes the traditions from the hills of italy to the bayou country absolutely love that and let me tell you folks if you did not know randazzo’s marker before you definitely know them now there’s no doubt about it we covered a lot today and i appreciate both y’all coming on y’all have fun thank you thank you you have fun oh yeah yeah so much yes uh so tell everyone where you’re located this is so yeah so we’re on 240 capitol street so um again the location we were trying to look kind of we wanted to be a little hidden to be honest with you because that’s how you get the acquaintance if you get outside you get a little bit of quietness you don’t hear all the cars going by it’s easy to get in and out but it’s right um it’s a cut through street right between florida and range yep and so um it’s easy we’re easy to get to yes we’re right in the center of town yes we’re a little off the florida but you can still see us from florida as well so it’s a yellow building yellow building can’t miss it when you see it you’ll know it we just repainted it so i i really went with the it was yellow before but now it’s even more yellow it’s really yellow but beautiful it actually works very well with uh with your atmosphere there um i do want to do a quick cover your hours so they’re listen up folks they’re open tuesday and wednesday 11 o’clock to four o’clock thursday from 11 o’clock to 8 o’clock and friday and saturday from 11 o’clock to nine o’clock so you’re closed sunday and monday correct all right so uh so check them out during that time trust me you will not be disappointed you can find them on facebook by searching randazzo’s deli in their website or randazzo’s italian market rather on facebook and their website is randazzo’s italianmarket.com you can go there and i know y’all saw me reading through the menu both the regular and the catering they’re both on that website so you can go to that click on it and it will give you all that information as well i want to thank everyone out there for viewing and listening to local leaders of podcast please continue to like comment subscribe and all those great things as we continue to shine a spotlight on small businesses just like randazzos thank you thank you to all our sponsors we couldn’t do any of this without all of you and if you would like information on sponsoring or appearing on the show reach out to me at gym at local leaders the podcast dot com until next time i’m jim chapman reminding you to love your community support local business just like randazzo’s and keep leading thank you very much for coming on thank you thank you

Randazzo’s Italian Market website:

https://randazzositalianmarket.com

Randazzo’s Italian Market Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RandazzosItalianMarket

VFW Website:

https://vfw.org

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