Chris Castelli owns the new spot with her son, Vittorio, with a motif she defines as Italian-style New York deli with California flare. She previously owned a bait and tackle shop on the Santa Cruz Wharf, where she served food. Once her lease was up, she took her deli game to Felton, and later opened Castelli’s in Aptos.
Open 8am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday they have a few outdoor tables and do a lot of take-out. Highlights include Nona Caprese with turkey, pesto, Roma tomato and fresh mozzarella;fresh salads and clam chowder in a bread bowl; lasagna, raviolis and meatballs, breakfast sandwiches and burritos. The coffee and pastries come from Italy.
Good Times: How did your first week of business go?
Chris Castelli: It was incredible, our local neighborhood showed up en masse, which unfortunately led to long wait times because we weren’t prepared for that quantity of customers. We were in shock, we all looked at each other and said, “Mama Mia!” The response was overwhelming, it inspired our business sense and helped us streamline operations without compromising quality.
GT: Tell me about the ethos at Castelli’s?
CC: My son and I believe in serving high quality food at a reasonable price and to share the Italian heritage with our community that my husband, whom I met at the Pantheon in Rome, has brought to our family. In the three months since we opened, we have had many Italians comment to us how our deli connects them with their cultural roots and all the good memories and feelings that come along with that.
236 Santa Cruz Avenue Suite A, Aptos, 831-661-5699; castellisaptos.com