GOOD FOOD: Yvonne and Marino Roberto with their mobile food van.
GOOD FOOD: Yvonne and Marino Roberto with their mobile food van. Peter Carruthers

Deli owners bounce back again after fire took their livelihood twice

AFTER the Marino's Deli was made ashes for the second time after the Whitsunday Shopping Centre fire in April, Marino and Yvonne took some time off.

The fire at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre in April claimed the deli, Target, an art gallery, ANZ Bank, Glambox Hair Studio, Art Whitsunday and Urban Village Homewares

In 2014, the deli was destroyed by fire at the same location.

They did a bit of travelling and upon their return to the Whitsundays thought long and hard about their future.

After their staff - some of which had been with the business for more than 10 years - had found jobs elsewhere, Marino and Yvonne Roberto decided to start a mobile food van.

"For us to start again it would have been impossible to have that same nice atmosphere and we didn't want to do it any more," Ms Roberto said.

Now, six months since the launch of the van, Marino and Yvonne are going strong and are pleased about their decision to not rebuild.

They both said the support they had received from the Whitsunday community directly after the fire had been outstanding.

The launch of the new food van has also received strong community support.

"We have had really, really good support. It's incredible, the Whitsundays. We got 700 likes (on Facebook) within a couple of days of the food van launch.

"So far everyone is has been really supportive and happy and they have always have been."

Directly after the fire, a GoFundMe page was set up for the Robertos and the team of Marino's Deli by Luke Anderson.

Marino and Yvonne were never comfortable with the page and divided the $7000 raised between their employees to cover loss of wages after the fire.

"It gave them a couple of weeks to look for other work," Marino said.

On Friday you can get coffee, bacon and egg rolls, cakes and pumpkin pies while the van is outside the Reef Gateway Hotel and on Tuesday and Wednesday the van will be outside Angel Zoo on Shute Harbour Dr.


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