When Lucia Rosella introduced market-goers to Italian cooking in 1957 at her restaurant, Lucia's Pizza and Spaghetti Bar, customers soon started asking to take home her napoletana sauce.

What started as a treat for regulars has become synonymous with the home-style diversity of the Central Market. Lucia’s grandchildren bought the stall next to her restaurant in 2002 to sell take-home meals, pasta sauces and olive oil.

That shopfront has now expanded to showcase a wide range of take-home products from Lucia’s Fine Foods, as well as other small businesses. You might find polenta batards from Orange Spot Bakery, olive bread from Boulangerie 113, muesli from Whisk & Pin and spices from Herbie’s.

But Lucia’s own products are the real heroes. There’s a whole wall of classic pasta sauces and cold pressed olive oil, fridges full of fresh linguine, ravioli and take home soups. Plus, garlic butter, pesto, aioli and panna cotta.

Meanwhile, the display cabinet facing out into the market is full of quiches, stuffed capsicums, salads and zeppole to entice the stray shopper. Popular among shoppers are the panini, and Lucia’s most popular creation – the Number One – is so beloved that local artist (and former Lucia’s sandwich-maker) Billie Justice Thomson immortalised it on a tea towel.

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Updated: October 12th, 2023

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