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    Swiss Farms Serves Italian

    C-store chain pairs up with restaurant to compete with larger stores' food offerings.

    SPRINGFIELD, Del. -- Swiss Farms customers got a surprise Monday when they pulled up to the drive-through convenience store and realized dinner was being served, reported delcotimes.com. The Delaware County chain partnered with a Wayne restaurant to offer ready-to-eat pasta entrées at each of its 10 locations.

    Chef Umberto Esposti from Ristorante Primavera was on hand Monday to give customers a taste of the dishes he prepares daily before they are refrigerated and delivered to Swiss Farms stores, according to the report.

    The selection of entrées, sold for $5.99 each, included lasagna bolognese, ricotta-filled ravioli, penne with meatballs in a red sauce and tortellini in alfredo sauce.

    Customers can sample a different dish each night through Thursday at the Springfield and Swarthmore stores and receive $1 off any entrée, Evelyn DePietro, a sales and marketing employee with Swiss Farms, told delcotimes.com.

    Along with the pasta dishes, Swiss Farms is offering freshly made Italian bread from Morabito’s Bakery of Norristown at $1.69, which means customers can pick up a full lunch or dinner for under $10 without stepping out of their car.

    The entrées made their debut Sept. 26 at the Swiss Farms in Broomall, and have since been added to locations in Havertown, Sharon Hill and Folsom. The meal offering is aimed to help the convenience store keep up with larger chains such as Wawa and 7-Eleven, which both offer hot and cold foods, according to the report.

    DePietro said in the past stores have sold about 200 dinners each week, adding about $1,200 in sales. "We have people that call ahead to reserve their dinners and drive through later on and pick them up," she told delcotimes.com, adding that busy moms have welcomed the concept.

    "The response has been fantastic," Damon DeProspero, assistant manager for the Broomall store, said in the report. "We definitely expected them to sell, but we didn’t expect to sell as many as we have."

    Swiss Farms stores in Drexel Hill, Upper Darby, Media and Brookhaven will add the entrees by Oct. 31, DePietro said in the delcotimes.com report.

    Esposti’s restaurant has been featured in Best of Philly Magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer for its cuisine.

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