A large Italian hoagie at Lucia’s Deli in Blackwood has more than one-and-a-half pounds of prosciutto, provolone, capicola and genoa salami.
It is massive and wildly popular. In any given week, Lucia’s owner Ryan Mackay and his staff of eight serve up more than 450 Italian speciality sandwiches ranging from the popular Italian hoagie to chicken cutlet hoagies with provolone and broccoli rabe to the Italian diavlo—a spicy hoagie made with hot sopressata ham and spicy capicola.
The Lucia's menu has 46 varieties of hoagies, plus party trays and fresh made sides like pepper shooters, macaroni salad, cole slaw, potato salad, marinated roasted peppers, and other Italian deli sides.
Mackay purchased the deli from the Lucia family in January.
“I was always a customer, and I knew Lucia’s had a good business and good sandwiches. When the opportunity to purchase the business became available, I knew it would be a good business,” Mackay, who graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in business management, told Patch.
The Lucia family owned the deli for 12 years.
Mackay kept the original deli menu, which includes Italian specialty sandwiches with fresh-sliced meats and cheeses. There are “no meat” hoagies, as well, including Lucia’s Italian—a hoagie filled with Italian tuna, roasted peppers, black olives and sharp provolone—and Lu Lu’s Veggie—a vegetarian sandwich with eggplant, provolone, roasted peppers and broccoli rabe.
What Mackay does plan to change is the deli's name. This December, Lucia’s will become Fat Louie’s. The name came from a customer who mistakenly called the Fat Rudy hoagie (a hoagie with pepper ham, provolone, capicola and hard salami), a Fat Louie. The mistake stuck.
Mackay also plans to had a grill and fryer. He will add cheesesteaks and fries to the menu, and maybe breakfast sandwiches in the future.
The core of Lucia’s business is regulars—the same customers stop in multiple times per week for made-to-order hoagies on rolls from Liscio’s Bakery, a Glassboro-based Italian bakery, and Thumann deli meats.
And, says Mackay, once a customer tries a hoagie at Lucia’s, they become a regular.
“No one ever stops in just once. Everyone who tries the food comes back,” he said.
Hoagies are available in three sizes: small, which is six inches; regular, which is 10 inches; and large, which is made on a whole loaf of Italian bread and is two feet long.
The biggest challenge, says Mackay, is knowing how many rolls to order. On a day mid-week, he typically orders 20 to 30 rolls; for a busy weekend, 75.
During football season, the deli offers the Fantasy Football “TRAY”fecta Draft Party Package which includes a regular hoagie tray (which feeds 10 to 12 people), a large bag of chips, a 2-liter soda and $10 off any case of beer at Richard’s Liquor in Blackwood. The package is $69.99 and should be ordered one day in advance.
For smaller orders, call ahead or just stop in. No matter how busy, Mackay says they try to get every order out in 15 minutes or less.
Lucia’s Deli is open Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on Monday). The deli is located at 600 Lower Landing Rd., by the entrance to Lakeview Apartments and the Route 42 North ramp.
To order, call 856-228-9000.