Mark DeNittis, the co-founder of Il Mondo Vecchio, a local artisan sausage factory, has his hands in a lot of different projects, and up until today, one of them was Cinque Soldi Salumeria, a tiny Italian market and deli exclusively selling Il Mondo Vecchio products that DeNittis co-owned with Tony and Cheryl DeSantis and their nephew, Gennaro DeSantis, the owner of Il Mondo Vecchio.
But as of early this morning, DeNittis no longer has any involvement in the Washington Park salumeria, which opened at 1284 South Pearl Street in March -- and Tom Willis, the deli's chef, is gone, too. "I've severed my relationship with the salumeria as of today," says DeNittis, adding that Willis was also "released of his responsibilities."
And while DeNittis doesn't want to publicly divulge -- or dwell on -- the intimate details of the split, he will admit that there were "some challenges in the partnership," though not with Gennaro. "Let's just say that the overall concept -- the concept that I'd envisioned -- wasn't going where I wanted it to go, and that Tony and Cheryl wanted to take it in a different direction," allows DeNittis.
This latest development, of course, begs the question: Will DeNittis's products -- that amazing salumi -- continue to stock the deli case at the salumeria? "Right now, I'm unclear as to whether or not my products will continue to be sold there," he says. "All I know is that Tony and Cheryl will be making changes to the concept and menu over the next several weeks."
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While we're not going to take bets on this, I'm going out on a limb here and predicting that if you want DeNittis's sausages, you're soon going to have to find them elsewhere.