Much needed grocery store opens in Little Italy

OTTAWA – Little Italy residents will soon have a new place to buy their groceries, have a bite to eat and even enjoy a glass of wine while browsing the hallways.

Tony Zacconi of Sala San Marco on Preston Street has transformed one of his ballrooms into a place that will serve his community in more ways than one. Pivoting from hosting events that could not happen due to COVID, to giving the area a much-needed grocery store he calls Mercato Zacconi.

“I had to pivot, that’s what I came up with,” Zacconi says. “What Preston Street was missing was a grocery store. A really good, really fresh commodity, grocery store.”

Residents will be able to enjoy everything from fresh wood-fired pizza to things that are usually only sold in Italy.

“These are all Italian specialties,” says Zacconi. “Advanced ingredients. Exclusive fish. Very fresh, locally sourced meat and slaughterhouse.”

Preston Street has sometimes been described as a food desert. Lindsay Childerhose is the CEO of the local BIA and says she is happy to see that there is finally a place to pick up groceries nearby.

Zacconi market

“Mercato Zacconi will just bring a whole new experience to Preston Street and Ottawa,” says Childerhose. “You know, throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen our small businesses turn around and adapt to changing times. And Mercato Zacconi is just one shining example of the resilience of small businesses.”

The area is also surrounded by massive new apartments that house thousands of new residents like John Byway, who moved to Little Italy in February 2020. He says locals need a convenient way to get their food, and now they have it .

“With the addition of the new business here, it will have a big impact on people’s shopping habits and the need not to have to travel long distances to buy groceries,” says Byway.

And this is not your regular Italian market. With specialty coffee, beer and wine available to customers, it’s a shopping experience like no other.

Zacconi market

“You can sit down, eat, enjoy their company, meet some friends,” Zacconi says. “And get a glass of wine while you shop.”

Mercato Zacconi opens its doors this Friday at 9 and runs seven days a week.


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