Gina + Frank
Gina Giambattista is the very heart and soul of the Italian Star Deli. Her hard work, expert culinary skill, and generous way with customers has allowed the deli to thrive for nearly half a century. Born in Vinchiaturo, a small village in mountainous Molise, Gina was raised on traditional peasant-style dishes and learned the basics of la vera cucina italiana (true Italian cooking). In 1956 she married Frank Giambattista and shortly thereafter followed him to Canada with hopes of providing a better way of life for their future children. Gina was just 27 when she first came to Regina, and the frigid prairie winter had her immediately pining for her native Italy. Perseverance and determination kept Frank and Gina in the city, and in 1966 they purchased a small community confectionary at 1611 Victoria Avenue. While Frank worked full-time with the City of Regina, Gina was committed to running the specialty store and delicatessen. It was her face that customers would come to know and love. Gina offered a shopping experience unlike any other in the Queen City. Customers were treated to not only the freshest and tastiest ingredients around, but also a genuine smile and brama di vita (lust for life)! In 1979, Gina’s youngest son Carlo would join her in the deli full time. Together, the mother-son team have perfected ethnic cuisine and the art of providing exceptional customer service.