Albuquerque’s premier Italian market and deli celebrates 45 years

Nov 05, 2015 1191

When first generation Italian John Camuglia bought the original Tully's meat market in the city's Highland district he took the first step from humble beginnings toward creating an iconic Albuquerque institution. That was in 1970. Today, under the careful, hands-on management of son, Johnny Camuglia, Tully's continues to grow and thrive by bringing an authentic taste of Italy to Albuquerque's Italians and lovers of Italian food.

The aisles of this typical New York-style neighborhood market are lined with brands of imported pasta, imported tuna, olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. The freezer section is packed with house-made Italian dinners like chicken marsala, veal and peppers, and brisket in mushroom sauce, all ready to thaw and savor on a night when cooking is not an option. The deli case is stocked with imported and domestic cheeses, cured meats and olives. The meat section boasts the finest cuts of....well, everything....from steaks and chops to whole chickens and veal. And then there are the subs – mouthwatering and enormous, to take out or eat in.

"World-class stuff," wrote one reviewer. Johnny reports that The Sicilian (mortadella, capocollo, prosciutto, lettuce and tomato – finished with Italian dressing) is the most popular, with the Al Pacino (a sub you can't refuse) coming in a close second.

Johnny Camuglia started working in the family business alongside his dad, John, and his mom, Jerry, when he was 8 years old. "I had to stand on an orange crate so the customers could see me behind the counter," he laughs. There was never any question that Johnny would take over the business after his dad passed away and his mom retired. "It's all I've ever known, and it's what I love. It's what my Sicilian family has done for generations," he explains. Carrying on the family tradition, he greets his customers warmly and by name and serves up only the highest quality ingredients and products. Beginning in 2007, he expanded the product line to include pastries, made from scratch and sold two doors down at Saratori's di Tully Italian Pastry Shop. Saratori's, too, is reflective of family – in its name that combines the names of Johnny's two daughters, Sara and Tori, as well as in its original family baking recipes handed down through generations. There you'll find cookies, cakes, cannoli, cassata and an array of seasonal favorites and traditional Italian sweet treats.

For Tully's, serving the community isn't just a matter of doing business, but also of giving back. Tully's community-mindedness leans strongly in the direction of helping kids, through church-sponsored meal programs and through a long-time involvement in the NM Italian Film & Culture Festival to benefit the UNM Children's Hospital, as well as other endeavors. And that spirit of giving extends to Tully's customers with an annual Customer Appreciation Christmas Open House celebration with its open invitation to join the festivities and sample an assortment of house-made goodies and traditional holiday favorites. The date for the 2016 Open House will be announced shortly. Meanwhile, check out Tully's website for menus, catering, hours and those irresistible confections from Tully's sweet side at Saratori's

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