Graffiti, Vandalism Main Causes For Genova Ravioli Factory's Departure From Oakland After 90 Years

Nearly a year to the day after Genova’s Delicatessen closed its popular Temescal location, the DeVincenzi family announced plans to shutter the Genova Ravioli Factory at 4300 Broadway after 90 years.

The decision to close was "mostly due to the vandalism and graffiti," issues that city officials failed to address despite continued complaints, they said in a Facebook post.

Graffiti at Genova Ravioli Factory. | Photo: Dominics Original Genova Delicatessen & Ravioli Factory/Facebook

“Graffiti and vandalism continued to be a daily threat despite reporting numerous complaints and requests for assistance from [the city government.] Just recently, $15,000 worth of damage was done to the windows when graffiti was etched into the windows across the entire front of the building,” they wrote.

Because employees were repainting the "entire building almost weekly," the family "decided after a long and heartfelt resolution we must leave Oakland.”

The DeVincenzis also cited the distance between their Napa home and the Oakland locations, saying they would continue to operate their sandwich, ravioli and grocery business out of their shop in Napa. While the Oakland deli and factory had operated in some form since 1926, the family expanded their operation to Napa in 1985. 

Original Genova's location in Temescal. | Photo: Genova's Deli/Facebook

The deli had been a fixture of Temescal for nearly a century. It was founded by Italian immigrants Lorenzo Balbi and Pietro Pira and taken over by Balbi’s nephew Dominic DeVincenzi in 1951.  

When the store was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, he opened a spacious new store with a large deli counter, prepared food, and imported groceries like pasta, olive oil and cheese. The original store closed in 1995. 


Dominic DeVincenzi. | Photo: Genova's Deli/Facebook

Now, the business is largely run by Dominic DeVincenzi’s son David, who opened the Napa expansion in 1985, and his wife Patti. When they closed the Temescal shop last year, there were reports that they were doing so because of a dispute with their landlords.

But they disavowed that idea in a statement, asking angry customers not to contact the building owner, saying that all their costs were rising and they weren’t sure if they could keep the business profitable.

This time, however, they were not shy about blaming Oakland city leaders in part for their decision, saying that they felt that their requests for help to the city went unanswered.

“With great sadness in our hearts we say goodbye to all our Oakland customers who have supported us over the last 90 years and hope that if you are in Napa Valley you will stop in to say hello,” they wrote.

Thanks to tipster Al M. for the tip. See something interesting while you’re out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll see what we can find: (510) 757-9959.

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Graffiti vandalism main causes for genova ravioli factory s departure from oakland after 90 years