The Holtsville-based food distribution company—which services restaurants and supermarkets in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S.—has long operated a retail store open to the public at its headquarters at 1630 North Ocean Avenue between Jamaica and Long Island Avenues.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, DiCarlo has additional products for sale and erected an outdoor tent in its parking lot to supplement the adjacent indoor store.
“We saw the need for it. We’ve been out in the supermarkets. I’ve been out there myself and I see empty shelves,” said John DiCarlo, Jr., Vice President of Sales, Multi Unit Accounts, at DiCarlo. “Meanwhile, we have pasta, we have cereal, we have produce, we have chicken, we have beef. We have everything here that everybody’s been looking for, so we figured we’d do whatever we could to help the community to get the supplies that they need.”
On Sunday afternoon, the tent and indoor store were bustling as shoppers explored the offerings and made their purchases of fresh, frozen, packaged and canned goods, mostly in bulk-sized packages.
“Our main customer has always been restaurants, mom-and-pop storefront restaurants, and five-star gourmet restaurants on the east coast from Boston to Baltimore. However, as the virus grows here on Long Island, it seems as if food insecurities are growing, too,” DiCarlo said. “Due to this, we wanted to support our local community and have opened our doors to the public. Although we are currently working with local supermarkets to help them restock their shelves, we thought that we could help the community at a faster rate by opening up our doors to the public,” DiCarlo added.
Some of the product availability is based on decreased demand from restaurant customers as many of those establishments in DiCarlo’s multi-state distribution region are now limited to carry out and delivery only.
The store is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. DiCarlo posts updated information on its website at www.dicarlofood.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dicarlofood.
“Our goal is to eliminate the anxiety and fear of having trouble finding food for one’s family,” DiCarlo said.