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The Big Cheese at ‘Good to Go’ by Lucrezia-A contest you can’t ‘weight’ to enter.

Written by Mike Siroky. Posted in Business, Business Spotlight, Community News, Dining & Entertainment, Entertainment, Featured

Published on January 23, 2013 with No Comments

Good-to-Go

Stop in ‘Good to Go’ by Lucrezia, Mon. – Sat. from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and guess the weight of the cheese. The lucky winner will receive a $100. gift certificate for ‘Good to Go’.

Good to Go by Lucrezia in Chesterton is an upscale deli that prides itself on many special offerings.

But it is also a business that loves its community and customers and is owned by a couple – Mike and Nada Karas – that simply love to have fun.

That all comes together in its latest offering: The Big Cheese Contest. Hanging in the shop is a magnificent Italian-style sharp provolone. Anyone can come in a guess its weight, with the payoff being a $100 gift card for the deli. At noon on Saturday, Feb. 2, the answer will be revealed.

Between now and then, said Nada, “we are letting anyone purchase a piece of the provolone and we will mark their section, putting their name where they want it on the provolone.

“This is interesting to me, too. I have never done a contest and people seem to love contests. I know some of our regular customers are planning to bring their kids in to guess,” she said.

#1841 – Pictured left to right: Joyce Stauffer (store manager); Trudy Halpin (Good to Go employee); Nada Karas (owner/operator); and customer Al Zurawski guessing the weight of ‘The Big Cheese’.

#1841 – Pictured left to right: Joyce Stauffer (store manager); Trudy Halpin (Good to Go employee); Nada Karas (owner/operator); and customer Al Zurawski guessing the weight of ‘The Big Cheese’.

Good to Go by Lucrezia is a specialty market, a tasting emporium specializing in Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars, a wine and craft beer shop and offers a selection of eats from neighboring Lucrezia Café, to go.

“We have a segmented business,” Nada said. “The cheese shop is a big part of it. A lot of shops of our nature are no longer here. The small Italian deli offers everything.”

The focus is customized customer service, one-on-one customer service.

“We know how to do certain things,” Nada said. “When we are slicing the meats, we are really trying to help customers, we are listening.”

An example might be that the specialty sandwiches truly have a quarter-pound of meat in each one. They are individually prepared. Folks used to fast-food really don’t know what a real made-to-order deli sandwich has to offer.

Beyond that is the art of cooking, from the food ingredients to the specialty wines. “People come in and want to know what wine to server; they’re not sure,” Nada said. “We recommend after going through their menu, we incorporate in the planning what to serve with how much they want to spend.”

Good to Go by Lucrezia also has an informational, relaxed wine club.

“We have a lot of wines on the shelves that we have at the restaurant, so if someone has a favorite and it is hard to get and they want to buy it retail, we can supply that, too,” Nada said.

Then there are the ingredients, like the olive oils.

“I am excited about the olive oils and that portion of business,” she said. “Most grocery store olive oils are fraudulent. We educate our customers. We actually do have some off-the-shelf olive oils. People can actually taste in comparison in what we have to offer.

“We can tell you where they originated, their crush date (the date the olives were crushed for the oil). Once you start to taste the difference, you have that ‘Aha Moment’ when you realize the difference,” she said. “Olive oil is not regulated. Read the labels. They assume you don’t know or care when the olives were crushed or if there is sunflower oil in it. You could do a whole book on olive oils. In fact, one New York writer has done that.”

The shop is an extension of the Karas’ desire to always try to reach out and benefit the community.

They own and operate the successful Lucrezia Restaurant on the shared site.

“We inherited the building and inherited being landlords with tenants. I didn’t want to be anyone’s landlord,” Nada said. “We had talked about a ‘To Go’ concept for a long time and finally decided to do it. We see it as an investment in our community, to fix up our building and make it a part of the business.”

Good to Go by Lucrezia is located at 4210 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton. For more information, call 219-926-3866 or visit, www.GoodtoGobyLucrezia.com.

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About Mike Siroky

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the above excellent column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Mike Siroky is a writer and editor. He is a native of Northwest Indiana. He has worked in media from coast to coast. To contact Mike, email mikel@the chronicleNWI.com

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