Panino Cappuccino family turned scary into opportunity

By Sean Delaney

“I'm not going to lie. it was scary,” said Fabio Caracciolo, co-owner of Panino Cappuccino.

“We didn't know what was going to happen. Nobody knew what was going to happen."

Caracciolo said surviving the coronavirus has been a family effort for his business.

The self-described mom-and-pop shop restaurant saw his brother Charles and the rest of the family put their collective heads together, he said, and simply say, let's figure this out.

“Thank God for family, is all I can say,” Caracciolo said. “You couldn't ask for better people to have in this crisis.”

The restaurant business has always been a grind Caracciolo said, so having to adapt to a difficult situation wasn't anything new.

“I like to tell other businesses, welcome to our world,” he joked.

But the impact of the movements needed were different this time, the owner said.

“We said ok, what's the biggest goal? We've got to cater to three or four people, families only, no more parties. We're going to feed the individual and we're going to put a price point that's affordable, and you know what? It worked.”

Caracciolo said they complement the food with a lot of little things, and his customers have been coming in.

“It was incredible, and people have felt comfortable with the changes, and we thank them for that,” he said.

While they're waiting for the food, he makes everyone a coffee.

“It's on me,” he said. “It's a social thing. You got four or five people waiting in line, hey, would you like a coffee while you're waiting?”

They put big advertisements on their windows to tell customers it's window pick-up only and have had to change their hours.

(Changes are available on their website,

But, they are also still doing daily specials to let people know they're still working hard.

"We want people to know we're there for them."

The restaurant is also doing prepared sauces and other meals.

Find them at 3218 Weston Rd.

Their menu is online at:

Or, you can phone them at: (416) 741-4646.

The restaurant is open Monday to Saturday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.