A labor of love
It takes about 5 seconds to realize that Zanini's owner, Jackie Huerta loves food and her community with equal passion. Not a person enters the Deli without a personal greeting from "Auntie Jackie." And they come back for the love and the food! Auntie Jackie's lasagna is legendary. So is her cannoli.
With over 40 years in the food and event planning business, Jackie Huerta realized she needed to reinvent her catering business as the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic set in. As customers started cancelling in-person events, Jackie ramped up a new business line - Sunday Dinners-to-Go which allowed her Whidbey Island customers to enjoy a delicious Italian meal at home on Sunday evenings. From there, it was a half-step to opening a store front, Zanini's Deli in Oak Harbor, that would sell the most popular entrees and desserts from her catering business with new sandwiches, soups and salads added in.
Navigating the ever changing landscape of Covid-19 restrictions made for a very interesting first year of operation. Jackie and her team quickly pivoted following a ban on indoor dining to offer a take-out service with curbside pick-up.
In spite of the challenges, Jackie's desire to provide her community with delicious Italian food made with love never wavered. She was living her dream of having her own store front and nothing was going to stand in her way of creating a space that dishes up love and Italian goodness in equal quantities.
Today, Zanini's continues to offer food-to-go as well as Auntie Jackie's Sunder Dinners. Customers are invited to enjoy lunch on the small patio in front of the Deli - the team will heat up and serve any to-go entrees, sides and desserts.
Inspired by and dedicated to family
My Beautiful Momma , Jean
This beautiful lady set the example of how to put all of your love into the kitchen and the food that you serve your family and friends. She would say, "I can give you all of the ingredients and you add your love." That is what makes the food so delicious and memorable. God rest her soul.
Thank you Nonno, for giving us your love and leaving us such a wonderful family legacy.