Specialty Grocer Citarella Names CEO

Gourmet retailer Citarella has appointed Rich Durante CEO. Durante brings to the family-run business more than 40 years of experience in the food retail industry, with a particular focus in the specialty sector.

In his new role, Durante will work closely with Citarella owner and founder Joe Gurrera, overseeing operations, merchandising and team development for all of the retailer’s locations. Before joining Citarella, Durante was chief merchandising officer at The Fresh Market, and has held executive positions at AG Supermarket Holdings, Balducci’s Market and Balducci’s On The Go Cafe. His extensive retailing background includes leadership positions in merchandising, operations, marketing and engineering.

“The addition of Rich to our Citarella family will bring a level of leadership experience and expertise in food retail to allow our Citarella stores to continue to grow and operate at the highest level,” said Gurrera. 

Since purchasing the company in 1983, Gurrera has grown the Citarella brand to seven locations in New York City, the Hamptons on New York’s Long Island, and Greenwich, Conn. In addition to Citarella, he owns and operates Lockwood & Winant at New York’s historic Fulton Fish Market. 

“Joe Gurrera has built Citarella into an iconic brand with a stellar reputation, and it’s an honor to be a part of the team,” said Durante, a New Jersey resident who earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Seton Hall University. “From an unparalleled selection of the freshest seafood to renowned prepared foods and specialty items, they’ve got it all, and I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise to the table for the next chapter.”

Gurrera’s next venture is to sell seafood online across the continental United States. “I want customers in Omaha to experience the same fresh seafood as New York Citarella customers,” he said.

Based in Greensboro, N.C., The Fresh Market operates 159 stores in 22 states. The company is No. 76 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America