Wheaton customers say goodbye to the owner of their favorite deli

WTOP's Heather Gustafson reports on how customers said goodbye to the owner of their favorite Wheaton, Maryland, deli.

Filippo’s Italian Specialties, a mainstay deli in Wheaton, Maryland, has changed ownership.

On Saturday, the community celebrated the retirement of its namesake, Filippo Leo.

“It has been a quite a long journey,” Leo said as dozens packed inside the deli to celebrate his long legacy.

Leo has served the “best” Italian deli food in Montgomery County since he took over ownership of the deli in 2012 after working there for over three decades. In 2020, Filippo’s won the TasteMoCO tournament for “Best Deli.” Now, he’s “decided to pass the torch because I reached the age that it’s time to take it easy.”

The Sicily native sold Filippo’s, which opened in 1955 originally as Marchone’s until it was changed in 2014, to the parents of longtime customer and friend Shelly Scanzaroli.

“This is in my blood. I may not be full-blooded Italian, but I was raised that way,” said Scanzaroli, who will take over running the deli.

Leo said his current staff will stay on and he’ll still pop in occasionally to say hello.

“I got so many friends. Through the years. that’s what I’m going to miss,” he said.

Leo plans to spend his retirement traveling, including visiting his hometown of Sicily.

Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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