In 1918, Challie Gioia built Gioia's Deli, which still stands today, at Macklind and Daggett. The native of Marcallo, Italy began his life in the grocery business by opening Gioia's Deli. The Gioia's Deli building was constructed of wood and brick from the 1904 Worlds Fair. The Gioia Family conducted business at 1934 Macklind on "The Hill" as a grocery store and purveyors of their homemade suasage called Salam de Testa. It is now the oldest family owned business on "The Hill." Steve and Johnnie Gioia added a lunch trade to the family business featuring the Salam de Testa. This coveted receipe is known today as Hot Salami.
A new era began in 1980 when the Donley family bought Gioia's Deli and turned the grocery store into a sandwich shop. Gioia's Deli prides itself on serving St. Louis' favorite sandwhich, the Hot Salami. Gioia's serves an assortment of premium meats accompanied by homemade salads, soups and desserts. Cathy and her son Alex carry on the Gioia's tradition by offering the best delicatessen fare St. Louis has to offer.
In 2013, Gioia's Hot Salami was featured on "Bizarre Foods," the Travel Channel's world-traipsing, food-seeking program. Host Andrew Zimmern called the Hot Salami sandwich "Worth the trip!"
In 2014, Alex and his wife, Amanda, took Gioia's Deli mobile! The Hot Salami Truck hits the streets of St. Louis for lunchtime all five weekdays and makes stops at St. Louis food truck events. Further, the whole truck is available for rent for private events. Follow the truck on Twitter @HotSalamiTruck to see where and when the truck plans to visit!
In April of 2016, Gioia's Deli opened a second location in Downtown St. Louis at 903 Pine.