Here’s to hoping the subs stay the way they’ve been for 37 years: deliciously impossible to eat in one sitting. Today, Albany’s 76-year-old, family-run Italian specialty market and caterer, Cardona’s Market, announced that it had acquired Roma Foods Importing Company, which has had one of its two locations in Saratoga Springs for more than three decades (the other is in Latham).
Roma Foods’ Saratoga and Latham markets will remain open during the transition but are anticipated to begin operating under the Cardona’s banner in June. Both locations will also undergo a series of renovations. These will include the addition of Cardona’s signature hot table, featuring more than a dozen dishes which rotate daily, such as classic Italian family recipes as well as daily and seasonal specials. In addition to continuing to offer an array of fine Italian import goods, both markets will feature Cardona’s selection of restaurant-quality grab-and-go meals; artisan sandwiches and salads; homemade sauces and famous meatballs. Cardona’s also plans to add full-scale commercial kitchens to both locations to accommodate catering orders and operations. Cardona’s Market will retain all staff at both locations and plans to announce additional job opportunities in the coming months.
Roma Foods is being sold to Cardona’s Market by Frank Bolognino and his brothers John, Peter and Paul, the second-generation owners of the Italian specialty market, which was founded in Downtown Albany in 1946 by their father Frank D. Bolognino. In addition to Frank Sr., the original ownership team included cousin Vince Pellegrino and brother Jim Bolognino.
“When we first began exploring opportunities to sell our family business, we were thrilled to hear that the Cardonas were looking to expand their own operations,” says Frank Bolognino, Jr., who plans to retire following the sale. “As long-tenured, family-owned local businesses, both Roma and Cardona’s share similar philosophies with an emphasis on quality products and exemplary service. On behalf of the entire Bolognino family, I’d like to thank our dedicated staff and valued customers, without whom we would not be where we are today.”
Cardona’s third generation of family owners to includes owner August Cardona, Anthony Cardona, Robert Cardona, Jr., T.J. Conti and Kevin Garry. Says Owner August Cardona of the acquisition: “Frank and the Bolognino family have built an outstanding business in Roma Foods and we are honored by the trust they have placed in us to continue the tradition. Our shared heritage as family-owned businesses and passion for serving the community will continue to guide us as we look to the future. We look forward to building upon their tremendous success and introducing Latham and Saratoga residents to the quality and convenience of Cardona’s Market.”
In the early 1960s, Roma Foods moved to Latham from Downtown Albany. Frank Bolognino, Jr. took over ownership and operations approximately a decade later following the passing of his father and retirement of his uncle Jim. A new store was built in 1978 across the street from the original Latham location on Cobbee Road off Route 9. The market added a second location on South Broadway in Saratoga Springs in 1984 before expanding to its current location on Washington Street.
Cardona’s Market, which was founded by Augusto Cardona in October 1945, will continue to operate its original flagship market on Delaware Avenue in Albany.