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New Aurora sandwich shop Frankie Panini a family affair

'I’ll never be tired of cooking,' said Frankie Marchese of his new Italian restaurant on Yonge

As Frank Marchese proudly states, Frankie Panini is all about family.

The new Italian sandwich shop that recently opened on Yonge Street has three generations of connections to the Marchese family.

Whether it be the 65-year-old espresso machine, called “Nonno Vitto,” that Frank inherited from his father, or his ever-smiling daughter, Kaytlin Sorbo, serving customers.

Marchese’s father owned several different restaurants when Marchese was growing up — the espresso machine comes from his father’s old pool hall. 

Marchese himself has been cooking since he was about eight years old, learning from his mother and helping out at home.

Marchese used to own another restaurant and food truck in Oak Ridges, dubbed Tutti Panini. He sold that business a few years ago and was planning on taking a step back from the restaurant business.

“I was semi-retired, but I had to have a purpose in life, in the morning. So my daughter wanted to do it, so we decided to look for a location,” said Marchese.

Sorbo said they felt lucky when they found their Aurora location, at the corner of Yonge and Church Street next to the public library.

“When we found Aurora, we knew we found home,” said Sorbo.

The shop serves various Italian-style sandwiches, with the veal a popular option. They also serve arancini, pasta, salads, and frozen meals that can be taken home and cooked.

“I’ll never be tired of cooking,” said Marchese. “When you have a passion, and when you see the result on the person’s face, it makes it worth every penny.”

The shop marked its grand opening on May 25, with about 500 people turning up, said Marchese. 

At the Aurora Street Fest, held along Yonge Street last Sunday, Marchese said they served hundreds of sandwiches.

“Aurora has embraced us with open arms,” said Marchese.