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Business Watch: Market Al Fresca to Expand, Add Beer and Wine, Meats, Sandwiches, Cheeses and More

New space will feature a pizza oven and deli, while pastries, coffees and gelato will be available in current market

“The family that cooks together, stays together,” is the motto for The Market Al Fresca, and that family is about to get significantly larger as Erika and Mark Angluin, with Erika’s brother, Anthony Parasole (left), look to staff up a new 7,200 square foot addition. 

More than a year after presenting plans to the Select Board, the Angluins and Parasole are preparing to open a greatly expanded Market, with a Neapolitan pizza oven, a deli, fresh sandwiches and paninis, beers and wines, flowers, meats and seafoods, produce and hot and cold prepared foods. There will continue to be vegan and gluten free options as well, and the existing Market space will remain with new items.

The opening is slated for mid-June, and there won’t be a big splash. The Angluins plan to stay low-key. They had hoped for a May opening, but as with many projects nowadays, supply chain issues have delayed the build.

One thing that isn’t causing a slowdown is town departments doing sign-offs, said Mark Angluin. 

“The town has been great to work with — that’s been my easiest thing,” said Angluin. “From fire to the water and health inspector, they come in when I need them. It’s, ‘Hey, Mark, I noticed this. You may want to address that.’ They’re very helpful.”

The expansive space that once housed Aubuts Liquors will be split between a kitchen fully dedicated to the Market, some added kitchen and storage capacity for the adjacent restaurant, and an airy, fully renovated store that will offer everything needed for an authentic Italian meal, from artisan olive oils and cheeses to breads baked in-house to main courses, fresh pizza, beers and wines, and dessert. 

The pastry line will expand to include, for example, ricotta pies, all from Al Fresca’s in-house pastry chef. Look for a new line of gelatos and specialty coffees and cappuccinos available in the current market area. And, says Parasole, who will continue to manage the Market Al Fresca operation, the old-fashioned candy will remain.

The new space will feature 540 feet of grocery shelving. The deli will serve paninis and Italian sandwiches. In a hot case front of the pizza oven, customers will find to-go dishes like chicken Gambini available for dinner and for the lunch crowd, something Angluin says is missing in town.

Hot items and Neapolitan pizza will be available at lunch and dinner.

That ability to serve hot specialty foods at scale along with the current cold takeaway meals is thanks to a massive, gleaming new kitchen, where Angluin says chefs can cook dozens of portions of menu items in a fraction of the time it now takes.

“Right now, the meals that you buy in the Market are made one at a time in the restaurant kitchen,” said Angluin, showing off a new tilt skillet, below. “Over there, we make one chicken broccoli, one pan. For the market we need 30 orders.”

The new kitchen will support Al Fresca’s catering operation, and Angluin sees significant synergy between the Market and the restaurant.

The kitchen also has a large bread oven, two walk-ins, a fryer and range and plenty of counter space.

Mark Angluin with a tilt skillet that will make 30 orders of a meal
Mark Angluin: ‘That’ll do 120 gallons of tomato sauce!”

Organization a Key

For customers, checkout will be at the front of the store, and lines for deli and pizza will be clearly marked.

“I don’t want someone waiting in line here for the pizza that’s over there,” said Angluin, who purposely kept grocery shelves low enough that there is a line of sight across the store. “It’s big enough to have everything you need but not so big that it’s overwhelming.” 

Parking is set to be expanded. The Conservation Commission recently signed off on a plan to repave the entire lot and add about 20 spaces. 

There will not be a seating area to eat items in-house, for now anyway. That may be on the horizon in about 600 feet of space behind the current Market, said Angluin, but the focus is on takeaway specialty items and retail groceries, beer and wine.

Al Fresca Ristorante opened in 2012, and the Market was added in 2018. Market Al Fresca is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Once the expanded space comes online, the hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Hiring is ongoing for cashiers and people with experience on deli, grocery and produce. Cooks and pizza chefs are also welcome to apply. 

large new kitchen
The new kitchen is just for the new Market.
large pizza oven at market al fresca
Specialty pizzas and a limited lineup of deli paninis will be available for lunch or dinner. No breakfast items are planned, though the new Market Al Fresca will open at 8 a.m.
grocery shelves
There will be 540 feet of groceries, in addition to fresh meats and fish, produce and breads.
the deli area
Next to the deli will be gourmet cheeses and meats for charcuterie.
checkout area at al fresca market
Checkout area. The spaces directly in front of the Market will be 20-minute parking; 20 new spaces are also being added.
pastry items available now at Market Al Fresca
The current selection of house-baked pastries will expand, and there will be gelato and specialty coffee drinks available.

The Carnation loves it when our local businesses have big news to share with the community. Are you new to town, expanding or making a significant change to your business model? Drop us a line at tewksburycarnation@gmail.com.

Lorna is a U.S. Army veteran and 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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