Missing authentic Italian food like the kind you find in Boston’s North End? You don’t have to wait anymore. On the Oak Bluffs Harbor, Henry Wallace is opening Stella Salumeria, an Italian delicatessen that will carry takeout dishes straight from J. Pace and Son in Boston. Henry’s dad owns Sand Bar and his brother, Jordan, runs the seasonal Midnight Train food truck parked near Jim’s Package Store.
During this time of COVID-19, Henry felt the need to get the ball rolling before his planned May opening by offering a delivery service based at the package store. Now you can order Shrimp Scampi, Pasta Primavera, Chicken Broccoli Ziti, Mac ‘n Cheese, and Pasta with Meatballs and have it delivered to your door. And, each dish — easily enough to share or save for lunch the next day — is just $9.99. Free deliveries are scheduled at 12, 2, and 4 pm, and the dishes arrive ready to eat, all you have to do is warm them up. An order of chicken with broccoli and ziti and the pasta with meatballs was split three ways at my house. The only difficulty we had was arguing over who got the meatballs.
You can order the entrees directly from Henry, or you can order delivery from Jim’s Package Store and get a bottle of red wine to go with it. The whole concept is sort of genius.
When Henry, 21, was a kid and his family left Oak Bluffs for vacation in a little town called Vinalhaven on one of the Fox Islands off Maine, they always stopped at J. Pace and Son to pick up Italian ingredients on the way. Henry, his dad, and his brothers prepared and enjoyed the delicious food, which also connected them to their Italian roots. The family traveled to the Province L’Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy to the small town of Ofena not long ago.
“It’s where I tasted my ancestors’ past,” Henry wrote in an email. “The place my great-great grandfather Luigi left is where I found true inspiration.”
Henry and his family scoured the valley for fresh ingredients and prepared meals after spending long days in the olive fields, just as their ancestors did.
“I understood the importance of their journey to America in a profound, new way that I couldn’t have possibly imagined before. Italy was a source of endless inspiration and came at a time when I felt more motivated and determined than I have for a long time.”
Henry came back home to the Island ready to start this new venture.
“I grew up on Italian food,” he says. “My parents would bring back from Boston a ricotta pie, prosciutto . . . things we could never get here when I was a kid.”
Partnering with J. Pace and Son, particularly with the 24-year-old grandson involved in that business, means that Henry can bring some of the North End to the North Bluff. Once the store opens, Italian specialty grocery items, freshly made Italian sausages and deli meats from J. Pace, along with fresh baked breads and croissants from Maison Villatte in Falmouth, will fill the store. Customers will be able to pick up prepared foods for takeout as well as.
“Any prepared meals offered by J. Pace will be grab-and-go style,” Henry said. “We’ll have coolers with prepared meals, power bowls, premade salads, and beach items. Along with that, we’ll have another shelving area with fresh breads and croissants. Italian nostalgia, or North End dried goods and canned goods, wheels of Parmesan cheese. It’s an Italian delicatessen, basically. We’ll provide good cheese, but not too expensive, and sliced meats, sandwiches made in-house.”
For now, Stella Salumeria can bring delicious Italian entrees to you, offering a nice opportunity to treat yourself during this time of isolation. I paid over the phone and then left a tip in a plastic bag outside the door. Henry delivered the food himself, leaving it on the front porch. By the time I brought it inside, the whole family was gathering around with ohs and ahs. The portions were substantial and the sauces, just right.
For Stella Salumeria delivery, call Henry Wallace at 508-246-9535, for food and items from Jim’s Package Store, call 508-693-0236.