New Farm Deli means a lot to lots of people. You can tell by the amount of support the deli received after a devastating fire ripped through its iconic Merthyr Village premises in July.
Maria Anello, who has owned the deli since 1991 with her husband, Vince Anello, says the support from the community has been “very humbling”. She describes watching people line up each day at the shop’s temporary coffee cart, which was introduced in August while the original site was being rebuilt.
“Every morning, we would visit the site and there would be 20 people standing outside waiting for coffee,” Maria says. “Where in the world would you go and stand in front of a coffee cart and endure all the dust and the noise [of the construction]?”
It’s a testament to the reputation the business has built over the past four decades. Since 1975, people from all over Brisbane have travelled to New Farm Deli in search of high-quality and hard-to-find ingredients, while locals pop by for a coffee or something to eat, as well as a browse. But perhaps it isn’t just the products or the food and coffee that have made a lasting impression on the clientele – it’s hospitality of the Anellos and their staff.
“A lot of people say we’re the soul of New Farm,” Maria says proudly. “The Merthyr Village Shopping Centre’s slogan is ‘The Heart of New Farm’, but we’re the soul. That’s what [people] keep telling us.”
That same community spirit has helped the Anellos reopen the deli less than five months after the fire, thanks to the support of friends in the building industry and the shopping centre’s management. It’s quite a feat – everything was lost in the blaze. The Anellos had to rebuild from scratch, purchasing every piece of equipment again.
The layout and fit-out – including the classic black-and-white colour scheme – are mostly the same as before. New additions include wallpaper in the cafe, an upgraded kitchen and a hand-crafted cheese cabinet, which is on display in the window of the deli, tempting passersby. Currently, it holds Australian and European cheeses, including a rare Swiss Gruyere, a French triple cream and a Parmigiano Reggiano (Maria’s favourite). Next to it is a charcuterie cabinet filled with cured meats such as salamis and chorizos, as well as whole legs of ham. Inside the deli, you’ll find fresh Pertutti pasta, caviar, and – ahead of Christmas – around 2000 individually wrapped panettones.
The cafe is up and running again with the same menu as before, including favourites such as the crab lasagna, antipasto platters and Vince’s marinara. And there’s no need to wait outside for a coffee anymore – a brand new Faema machine is pouring Vittoria Coffee inside.
Right now the focus is on the catering side of the business, with so many families relying on the Anellos for Christmas lunch. Early in the new year, a new Italian chef will train the team to take the cafe fare to the next level. Expect to see a new menu and pasta being made in-house.
New Farm Deli
8/85 Merthyr Road, New Farm
(07) 3358 2634
Mon to Sat 6am–6pm