PORTLAND — After 38 years in business, the family-owned City Deli on the first floor of One City Center has a new owner.

The new owner, Dalia Esposito, said she has known the former owners, the DeSalle family, for many years and has worked on and off at the business since childhood, making the transition a natural one.

Esposito and her husband, Mike, took over the business in May. The previous owner, Mike DeSalle, declined to discuss why he sold the business, which he owned for the last 24 years. DeSalle, however, will continue to work at City Deli.

Esposito said the change gives her the opportunity to move Giuseppe’s Best, a specialty vegan sauce business she and her husband own, into the City Deli kitchen.

“I make vegan pesto and marinara sauce,” Esposito said. “(The sauce is sold) in small stores and farmers markets around southern Maine. I had kind of been looking for a commercial kitchen.”

The sauce business is named after Esposito’s son, Joey, who was called Giuseppe by his great-grandfather, Joseph Salvatore Esposito.

Giuseppe’s Best sauces are sold at Mills & Co. and Radio Shack in Windham; The Good Life Market in Raymond; Carter’s Green Market in Gorham; Bow Street Market in Freeport; Belissimo in South Portland, and Pat’s Meat Market in Portland.

Esposito said she intends to maintain the status quo at City Deli, but would like to tweak the menu to include vegan and lighter options.

The deli is open Monday-Friday for breakfast (sandwiches, wraps, omelets and breakfast plates) from 7 a.m.-10 a.m., and serves lunch (sandwiches, wraps, soups, dinner plates, sides and salads) from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Michael Kelley can be reached at 780-9106 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter:@mkelleynews

The City Deli on the first floor of One City Center has been sold to a new owner who has longtime ties to the business.

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