Donatelli’s Italian Food Center, a longtime Italian grocer on Liberty Avenue, announced on Nov. 9 that it is looking for a potential buyer, and if it can’t find one, it will be closing in early 2022. The grocer has served Bloomfield for nearly 90 years. The store was originally opened by Frank Donatelli and George Rosato in 1932, when the neighborhood had many newly arrived Italian immigrants, according to a press release.
Frank Donatelli then ran the store with his son Paul during the 1960s and up until when Frank retired in 1975. From there, Paul ran the store with his sons, and now Paul's son Russell Donatelli is running Donatelli’s by himself. There is no family heir after him to carry on managing the grocer.
“Three generations have seen our small Italian grocery store grow into an Italian specialty store known throughout the Pittsburgh area,” reads the press release from Donatelli’s. “We truly appreciate our customers and families who’ve contributed to our growth.”
Donatelli’s offers produce, a full-service deli, and, of course, a wide array of Italian items from sweets to olive oil to hard-to-find imports. The grocer also makes and sells many homemade goods.
Even if Donatelli’s were to close, the neighborhood will not be without an Italian grocer. Bloomfield Groceria, while smaller than Donatelli’s, offers Italian goods — from cookies to pasta sauces to fresh-made tortellini, and has a deli. Bloomfield has lost Italian businesses as time has passed and the demographics of the neighborhood have changed, but it is still home to Italian staples like Pleasure Bar, Merante’s, Linea Verde Green Market, and Dan Cercone Barber Shop.
Russell Donatelli told WTAE that it has been difficult to run Donatelli’s without his family around. He said if a new buyer is not established soon, the grocer will have to close possibly as soon as the first quarter of 2022.
"Just like anything else, you have to liquidate, and try to sell everything out and move on," Russell said to WTAE.
Interested parties in purchasing Donatelli’s can call the store and talk to Russell Donatelli at 412-682-1406.