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Dining

Taste of the Town: Josef’s Elegante in Geneva takes pride in selling quality meats, pastas, fish

GENEVA – Since opening in 1998, Josef’s Elegante Meats & Deli in Geneva has prided itself on the quality of its products.

“Our ground beef is ground daily all day,” said owner Pat Falcone. “We only use choice or prime meats. We don’t use any meats from out of the country. All the pork in our sausages and brats are natural. Nothing is chemically induced.”

Falcone, of St. Charles, operates Josef’s with his wife, Nanette. The shop, located in the Engstrom Plaza at 716 W. State St., Geneva, is named after their two fathers, both named Joseph and both butchers.

“We thought it was a good omen from the heavens above to name it Josef’s,” he said.

He learned the trade from his father, who ran the International Meat Company from 1938 to 1980.

“The sausage recipes were taught from my dad to me,” Falcone said.

Joining him in the business is his son, Patrick, who is the operations manager at Josef’s and his other son, Joe, who helps with weekend meat cutting and catering operations, and mans the store’s grill on Saturdays. In addition, Falcone’s brother, Joe, also works at the store, and his cousin, Therese Syniar, works in the store’s sandwich department.

Through the products it offers, Josef’s has tried to set itself apart from other delis and grocery stores. For example, one of the store’s bestsellers is its giant, 12-ounce stuffed burgers.

“It’s pure sirloin,” Falcone said. “It has bacon, cheddar and onion. No chemicals or preservatives of any kind are used in it. We want to offer the customer something that is above and beyond what they can get in the chain stores.”

And Josef’s sells more than just meats. For example, the store sells more than 50 different types of homemade pasta, ready-to-go meals, and 10 to 12 different kinds of fish.

Josef’s also is a popular lunch spot, especially with those who work in downtown Geneva, Falcone said. It serves Boar’s Head luncheon meats, cheese and condiments.

“We were probably the first store to offer Boar’s Head,” he said. “Their products have been approved by the American Heart Association.”

Josef’s also prides itself on selling homemade products, such as its homemade eggplant Parmesan.

“It is one of our specialties at Festival of the Vine,” Falcone said. “People go nuts for it.”

Another popular item is Josef’s old-fashioned potato salad.

“It’s made daily,” he said. “You have to try it to believe it.”

Patrick Falcone said he is always heartened to hear customer compliments.

“About three years ago, someone came up to me at a NASCAR race and told me that we had the best sausage,” he said. “Customer compliments are also a plus.”

Josef’s is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

The store is closed on Mondays. For more information, visit Josef’s website, www.josefsmeats.com.

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