Gaetano (Tony) & Frances Giuliano (fondly known as Nanu & Nana) were the founder’s of the locally loved, “Giuliano’s Deli”. Gaetano’s grandson, Steve Giuliano, was born into the food business. From the minute he could walk, you could find Steve running around Giuliano’s Deli in Gardena, sneaking meatballs when no one was looking. As time went on, and Giuliano’s grew, Steve became Director of Operations at the Giuliano’s headquarters in Carson. His wife, Dori, was born into an entrepreneurial Italian family filled with love and togetherness. Her mom, Dotty, would cook wonderful Italian meals for the whole family almost every day. Much of her recipes you can still find on our menu.
In 1976, Steve was working behind the counter at Giuliano’s in Torrance, when all of a sudden he was “struck by the lightning bolt” as Dori walked in. They met and married two years later. Steve headed the operations at the Giuliano’s Commissary, and Dori assisted with the growing catering business Giuliano’s created. Their knowledge for food and service became a powerful partnership. Steve decided to leave Giuliano’s to start a similar operation with a fast – casual service approach. On December 17, 1993 with the help of his wife, Dori (and many other family members), they opened Gaetano’s Deli. The deli featured fresh baked breads, an authentic wood burning pizza oven, sandwiches, pasta, salads and specialty pastries. Customers would order at the deli counter and food was brought out fast and fresh. Although the deli was a great concept, Dori and Steve decided to transform the deli into a restaurant. Throughout the opening of the deli and soon after the deli became a restaurant, Steve’s diabetes became too much for his body to handle and he passed away. With the help of many wonderful family members, friends and team members, Dori was able to establish the restaurant her and Steve had always dreamed. Steve’s legacy of hard work, quality foods and service with a huge smile, still lives within Gaetano’s today.