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Why Not? Italian Food brings a taste of Italy to Guelph

Providing traditional Italian food both ready to eat or cook at home

It was the decision to combine their culinary skills and backgrounds that led two colleagues to start a new takeout business in Guelph.

Antonella Campo and Tony Pingitore are co-owners of Why Not? Italian Food, a store operating in a plaza on 570 Kortright Rd. W. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday, the red brick storefront offers authentic northern and southern Italian cuisine. 

“We’re always doing traditional food (from) all regions of Italy,” said Pingitore, who has 20 years of experience in the hotel and culinary industry, “but we’re always making foods that aren’t on their menu.”

Campo, who said she prepared food for the Italian army and served as head chef for both school boards in Mississauga, explains everything they serve is served with passion.

You won’t find pineapple at Why Not? said Campo about their strict adherence to tradition.

Besides offering traditional cuisine, residents will find a sandwich bar with fresh items and grocery section within the store offering items imported from Italy. 

"People, they come here and they say, 'Oh, I remember that!'" said Campo about residents who browse their grocery section.

Don’t feel like making something from scratch? They also sell frozen meals, fresh pasta and pasta sauce, pizza and meals that you can warm up at home.

While the food is old-school, there are a couple of new novel items that can be found within the store, like an art gallery and pizza cones. 

Located along the hallway toward the back of the store, art pieces hang on opposite walls from Guelph and Wellington County artists. Two artists are featured each month, said Pingitore, who is an avid supporter of the arts community.

“Having a hallway that doesn’t do anything is wasted space,” he said.

When it comes to their pizza cones, Campo explains she thought of the idea two years ago. In the store, the cones are displayed in a glass case. 

“Everybody has a sliced pizza, you want something different,” she said. “It’s full of cheese, sauce and maybe a topping.”

When the duo began planning their business, it didn’t take them long to decide to launch it in Guelph. Currently living in Mississauga, Pingitore said Guelph has a small town feel with lots of families and a sense of community. 

“Guelph is what Mississauga was 40 years ago,” said Pingitore about the city. “Therefore, we fell in love.”

Both owners are excited for the store’s grand opening on Oct. 23 where residents can come and sample their menu from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Since doing a soft opening ahead of the 23rd, the store has seen support from residents and other businesses nearby. 

"We put a lot of effort in it, especially after two years," said Campo. "We want it to succeed, it is our baby."

To learn more about Why Not? Italian Food, you can find the business on Facebook and Instagram.