On September 28, 2019, Tucci’s Mini Hoagies was introduced to the Voorhees community.
It was amazing to see lines of people waiting to try this new concept. The reaction to our little family business was explosive……it was like we were shot out of a cannon! The reviews were awesome and have been ever since! These mini hoagies were a HUGE hit! The store was busier than anything we could’ve ever imagined….every day was non-stop orders. We were gaining new customers every day and could barely keep up (that’s a good thing:)…….and then came Covid.
No one plans for a National Pandemic when opening a new business!!! We didn’t have a clue what to do and didn’t want to jeopardize our family or the health of our customers, so we closed from March 11, 2019 until the end of May. We reopened to a totally different scenario…..gone were the corporate accounts (which we never regained), gone were the catering orders, and little by little, we started to see customers venturing out again.
While the customers had started to come back out, it was becoming increasingly more difficult to buy certain products. Many items we used on a daily basis were no longer being produced, so we had to find alternative items. They weren’t always the best, but we tried our best. With these alternative items came astronomical prices. It’s safe to say that some of our products have tripled in price since Covid. Those items were necessary for business, but we were never able to pass along those price increases to customers. If we increased prices the way our suppliers did, we’d be increasing prices on a weekly basis!!!
It feels like no-one has felt the financial impact of this economy more than the small business owners! This economy has made it almost impossible for a small business to flourish. Through all these uncertain times, our loyal customers have always been there. Some we see sporadically, some we see so regularly that we can set our clocks to the time they place their weekly orders!!!! Everyone who walked through our doors became part of our family……that’s always been my favorite thing about being up front……I didn’t just take their order, I got to know them!
Getting to know our customers so well over the past 3 years has made this decision even harder for me. This past year has been quite a journey for me personally. I’ve had to take on a lot of extra responsibilities without the help of my husband, who had been there to help me in previous years. It has given me more physical and financial issues than I care to think about. I have deliberated and done some deep soul searching over the past three months and have come to the conclusion that it is time to close the business. The financial stress is more than I can handle on my own, and therefore I will not be reopening Tucci’s.
The loyalty bestowed upon me has been a blessing. I am forever grateful to everyone who has ever walked through our doors and tried our “little something different”.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
TUCCI’S MINI HOAGIES