Landenberg Store celebrates grand re-opening
By Richard Gaw
On Saturday, July 21, at seven-thirty in the morning, the heart of Landenberg began beating again.
After a three-year wait, the historic Landenberg Store welcomed old friends, neighbors and first-time visitors to the unveiling of its newest incarnation, an Italian-infused delicatessen that also gives a deferential nod to the store that has served as the social outpost for this town since it first opened in 1872.
Between greetings and handshakes, new proprietor Mark Spena and sous chef Greg Powell displayed the store's most prominent identity, seen in the display case of gourmet take-away entrees, meats and side dishes.
In the days leading to the store's opening, Spena said he received very little sleep and was buried in an avalanche of notes he made to himself, and as the morning turned into the afternoon on opening day, he saw that nearly all of what was on display had been sold: from breakfast sandwiches to eggplant parmigiana, chicken cutlets, spicy carrots, beef hummus, chicken piccata, sushi grade tuna, Angus flank steak, Angus prime rib, roasted garlic basmati rice, baked salmon broccoli rabe and an olive bar.
“I was in a panic,” Spena said. “We were running out of everything we had made and put out. I knew deep down we were not equipped just yet to handle the opening day rush. Saturday was a growing pains day, but I hope that the people who tasted our food will come back and get to know us.”
For those visitors who were making their return to the store, they were delighted to see several reminders of the store's past, including the familiar penny candy jars, a lending library, and the ever-present taxidermy near the store's front door.
“The first weekend was awesome,” said store owner Beth Skalish. “We had such great support. The looks on the people coming in after three years away was so amazing to see.”
Despite the usual opening weekend hiccups, the reviews posted on the store's social media page proclaimed that it was a success. “I had a meatball sandwich that was humongous (and tasty,” read one post. “Fine food, relaxed atmosphere, old world charm...excellent,” read another.
Spena said that after he closed the store on Sunday afternoon – following a strenuous few weeks that led to a busy and successful opening weekend – he returned to his home in Wilmington and slept for 11 hours straight.
To learn more about the new Landenberg Store, visit https://landenbergstore.com.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.