AFTER HOURS AT DiBRUNO BROS. Eat, Drink, and Make Memories

by TheSpot
DiBruno Bros. After Hours

Stepping in the original location of Di Bruno Bros. is like walking into a black and white photo of Old World Philadelphia.  It is a nod to an early twentieth century scene of butchers, fishermen, and cheese mongers weaving through 9th Street with wheelbarrows of their latest catches or kills.  After 80 years of business, the DiBruno Bros. brand has evolved from a specialty store to a Philadelphia culinary enterprise.  The brand is now in major supermarket chains, several store locations, plus events and catering.  We recently met with Tommy Amorim, Assistant Store Team Leader and After Hours Director, to learn more about its history and in some ways a true Philadelphia story. 

After Hours is an in store customer experience like no other.  First however, we learn Tommy’s role starting with the original store.  Tommy’s grandfather, Giuseppe Abruzzo, worked for Di Bruno Bros. for 62 years alongside owners Danny and Joe.  DiBruno Bros. was more or less a cheese store along other specialty stores on 9th Street.  After Tommy’s grandfather’s passing in 2008, Tommy decided that he wished to step into the work of his grandfather.  We asked the question if cheese mongering is a lost art form.   Tommy acknowledges that there are less and less cheese professionals due to pre-packaged cheeses however abides by traditional cheese making methods.  Today, Tommy is part of the 2nd generation of the Di Bruno Bros. family. 

So what exactly is After Hours?  DiBruno Bros.has various locations in the Philly region.  After Hours offers a group of 10 or more people a two hour shopping experience of curated cheeses, charcuterie plates, and wine pairings.  Cheesemongers use their creativity and inspiration to come up with 6 to 7 plates.  Tommy trusts his team to apply their passions and imagination in creating these special platters and pairings.  

We asked Tommy what he hopes are the takeaways after this experience.  He hopes that those who participate not only leave enriched nutritionally, but also mentally and spiritually.  If a client has any dietary restrictions, their mongers curate boards to fit customers’ needs.   

For Tommy, this is not just a trendy new foodie job but a purpose of sharing and experiencing the best cheeses of the world and passing it on to customers. It is easy to see Tommy is passionate about  taking these time honored traditions and revitalizing them.  The result is a fully immersive experience of tradition, history, and the palate. 

How did After Hours come about?  Surprisingly the idea stemmed from a little humor stemming from customer comments wishing they could stay locked up in the store after closing.  The illuminating brain child of Tommy of pairing cheese with wine gave life to the After Hours Program.  In addition to these specialized pairings, the feature includes a 20% discount off all items, plus a store gift either in the form of a tote bag or something comparable.   During the shopping experience, Tommy encourages guests to indicate to a store professional whatever meets the eye.  They will then cut the items for you or  make them available for purchase.  

It is no secret that Philadelphia has one of the best culinary scenes in the country.  As we become sophisticated in taste, experience, and skills, curiosity does not slow down.  We want to know more about where our food is sourced, we want to discern taste, age, notes and so forth.  Di Bruno Bros. found a way to meet that curiosity.   

So who can participate in After Hours?  Pretty much anyone for any type of celebration.   Whether it is a special occasion or simply a celebration of food and drink, mongers treat each instinct with care. As for returning guests, their mongers make sure they don’t repeat the same presentation.  What is the process of curating a group?   According to Tommy, the professionals base their presentation on current selections of cheese and pairings that invigorate the staff and spark their creative outlets. If you’re curious about entering this line of work, well Tommy is all too happy to set you on the right path on how to get started.  

So if you’re looking for a memorable occasion, After Hours DiBruno Bros. is an encompassing culinary adventure that takes you on a trip of the best international goodies.  The enthusiasm, history, and inspiration make it a true Philadelphia story.  

Look for Part 2 of our feature in the coming weeks of our Di Bruno Bros. Wayne location adventure as they continue to provide a one of a kind experience!