Nina Balducci, a Pioneer of NYC Specialty-Foods Retailing, Dies at 91

Industry: Food and Drink

Along with her Husband, Andy Balducci, the Couple Developed The Archetype of Today’s Full-Service Gourmet Market

Bronx, NY (PRUnderground) April 14th, 2020

Baldor Specialty Foods, one of the largest wholesale importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, announced today that Nina Balducci, the mother-in-law of Baldor’s founder Kevin Murphy, has died of colon cancer at her home in East Williston, NY where she was under hospice care. She was 91 years old.

Nina Balducci (nee D’Amelio) was born on Long Island, NY in 1928. In 1952, she married Andy Balducci and after a brief stint working for Nina’s family’s masonry company, the couple went on to join Andy’s father, Louis Balducci, in running Balducci’s produce market in Greenwich Village.

Nina’s business acumen, along with her refined European sensibility was made evident when Balducci’s market expanded from a small, open-air produce store to a full-service gourmet food market in 1972.  Every decision, from the new store’s design, to the types of foods to carry, to branding and logos, to PR and marketing, was made by the young Balducci couple as a team.

Nina had an enormous influence on the Balducci food market’s concept – and went on to design the first Balducci catalog. What started as a 9-page booklet grew within a decade to a 52-page, full color compendium featuring exotic imported ingredients and fully cooked dishes. The mail-order business went national, and the Balducci name became renowned throughout the country.

Andy and Nina’s daughter, Ria, married Kevin Murphy in the 1980s. Kevin joined Balducci’s and soon learned every aspect of the produce and specialty food business. He expanded and finally took over Balducci’s small wholesale division called “Baldor” in 1991. Today, the Balducci high standards for quality and first-in-class customer service live on at Baldor Specialty Foods, which is currently run by Kevin and Ria’s son, TJ Murphy.

Nina’s husband Andy Balducci passed in March, 2018 at the age of 91. Nina Balducci passed on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020. They are survived by two daughters, Marta, 65, and Andrea, 63, six grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

About Baldor Specialty Foods

Baldor Specialty Foods is one of the largest importers and distributors of fresh produce and specialty foods in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Beginning as Balducci’s fruit stand in Greenwich Village in 1946, Baldor maintains its original promise – curate and deliver the best and freshest foods in the world. Baldor seeks to provide great specialty foods and logistics that give their customers an edge.

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