Matt Francia may be only 24, but the owner of Wilton Deli is certainly going places⎯not just because he’s got a new set of wheels. Since taking over the business his father, Steve, owned for 12 years, he’s thinking big, especially with the arrival of the deli’s new food truck.

Even as food trucks have become popular fixtures on the local culinary scene, Matt says he’s always wanted to have one.

“My dad and I always talked about doing one. He never wanted to do it by himself, when I was at school. We were at a party three years ago and they had a food truck, and I said, ‘Dad, I’ve got to do one.’”

It took a long time to find the right one. Matt traveled to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“This is actually the second one. We bought one truck about half the size, it was just white, and it wasn’t ready. I had it for two weeks, and we got a phone call from someone, I was sponsoring their team raising money to go to a tournament. The first day we were there, I realized it was too small. Before we sold it, I got this one. Thank God we were able to sell the other one and not get stuck with two trucks⎯my dad was like, ‘What are we doing?’ he laughs.

They lucked out with the truck they now have. “It was Wilton blue. When we saw it, I said, ‘This is it!’”


The father and son duo worked over the winter to fix it up, especially inside, to make it work to their personal specifications. They finished it two months ago, and the truck they have now is definitely well-equipped. It’s basically a second restaurant on wheels.

“I have a bigger grill in the truck than I do in the deli. Fryer, grill, it’s a whole stainless steel restaurant in there. I even have a steam table in there so I can have hot food. I can do anything from meatball parm, pasta, hot dogs, cheese steaks, sausage and peppers and keeping everything fresh and hot,” he says, clearly excited by the prospect of taking the Wilton Deli menu on the road.


Matt is hoping to be at some of the sports events around town, and has his eye on private function catering. He already took it to the end-of-year event for Wilton Youth Lacrosse at Allen’s Meadow and has had it at a graduation party. But Wilton shouldn’t get any hopes up that the truck will have a regular spot on a daily basis.

“The deli itself is my main focus, I’m here. For me to be out every day is hard. I’d rather do parties and events with the truck,” he says.

Now that he’s in charge, Matt can reflect on why the Deli is such a big part of his life. It has something to do with learning from his dad.

“I always came in on the weekends, worked summers, and here and there. He always wanted me to do something else, he never wanted me to work the hours that it takes. But once this all happened, I stepped in and it went well. I learned from all the workers who have been here for a long time.”

Matt certainly likes that the Wilton Deli holds a spot as one of the most favorite places in town, something that’s helped by its location. With easy access to Rt. 7, close to the schools, and centrally located near the tennis courts and playing fields behind it, it’s a mainstay with families, students, athletes, residents and non-residents alike.

“It’s cool. I’ve met so many families⎯the parents and the kids. It’s a fun spot. I love it here. On a Saturday or if there’s a game, everyone meets in this general area. Even if they’re not coming here to eat, this is where they come to meet. We don’t have anything like this in Trumbull,” he says.

That makes it easier to enjoy the ride in many ways. “I always wanted to do more, I always told my dad, ‘Let’s explore the catering, let’s explore this or that.’ We set up a new website last year. But we know the truck news will spread by word of mouth,” he adds.

Especially when they taste that Wilton Deli food-truck-made meatball parm, fresh out of the oven. Yum!