For close friends and family of Frankie Rose, the grand opening of Frankie’s Italian Deli in the commercial strip in front of the 951 Walmart was a day they’ve dreamed about for years. For some it may have mirrored the movie, “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner that gave birth to the phrase, “Build it and they will come.”
Since moving to Southwest Florida, it has been Frankie Rose’s dream, and now it is reality. This is a reality brought to life by his friends and family and a lot of hard work over the last year. The painstaking and careful planning finally paid off, and Rose is on his way to making his mark.
Rose’s experience from his many years in New Jersey and exposure to the food business gave him a solid foundation for what he hopes is a winning combination to fill a void that has existed for many years in the greater Naples and Marco area.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great eating establishments in the area, but the fresh ingredients that were a staple in metro New York and New Jersey are the foundation that will set us apart,” said Rose.
One of the ingredients that sets him apart from others is in the bread he bakes. “We ship the dough in frozen and then bake it here on the premises. And don’t let anyone tell you they create the same bread here… they don’t,” said Rose with a smile.
Marco Island resident Robert Nace and his wife Judith, New Jersey natives, agree with Rose. “You can close your eyes and you’d think you were back in the metro New York and New Jersey area. The outer crust of his bread is crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside, just like back home,” said Nace who is a repeat visitor to the new establishment.
Oscar Espeko, a native of Naples, agreed with Nace in saying the bread was excellent and complimented all of the samples of the different offerings. “It’s wonderful,” said Espeko.
Although the new eatery has been open for business since early April, Rose wanted to get things moving in the right direction before holding his Grand Opening. The graduation of his oldest daughter Gianna from the Marco Island Academy and her preparations for attending college would take a priority in the family’s life, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
His wife Deneen, daughters Gianna and Francesca would all make it a family affair on that Saturday, taking orders, restocking the samples (trying a few themselves), and greeting customers as they came in throughout the day.
Rose would shuffle back and forth throughout the event between joking with friends and customers and then back into the kitchen, both making sure everything was progressing smoothly and joking with his staff. Rosario, a native of Calabria, Italy who immigrated to America when he was 10 years old, was busy making pizza dough while Pedro Rojas, a veteran of Naples- area Italian restaurants, put together the final batch of fresh homemade mozzarella for the display case.
“I guess this is proof that dreams do come true,” Rose says, wrapping his arms around his family and smiling from ear to ear.