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Rai was recruited three years ago to join Lina’s from Sunterra Market, where he had worked for 15 years, the past 12 in the head office.
Now owned by Joe Dand, the owner of the very successful Canadian Tire store on Macleod Trail S., Lina’s has continued to be a solid employer of some 50 staff and a popular destination over its long history, thanks to its selection of products and the quality of the food it offers.
The man responsible for attracting lovers of good Italian food is executive chef Manuel Panfili, a master in Italian cooking who came to Lina’s from Toronto where he was awarded the title of top pizza chef. In Calgary, his exclusive five-course dinners sell out far in advance.
Panfili will be responsible for food offerings at both locations but will operate out of his new commissary at the south store.
Pizza chef Sunny Singh is now product manager for Lina’s, and has come up with some interesting and exciting new additions to its offerings.
The selection of olives will naturally be an important display but discerning lovers of olive oil are going to be in for a couple of new treats.
Lina’s has formed a partnership with a small farm in Sicily to offer Lina’s Olive Oil as a private label. And a shipment from Italy will arrive in a couple of weeks, including barrels of several kinds of bulk olive oil from which customers can fill their own containers.
Direct imports will not only be Italian, though. Specialty Iberico hams will arrive in time for Christmas feasting and Singh has even found Iberico chips.