Deli-owner Luigi Terroni was born in 1853 in the village of Veserada in the mountains above Pontremoli into a family of small farmers. He left home in 1870 and walked to Paris. He continued his journey by foot to London, where he lodged in a boarding house in Clerkenwell. In 1878 he was able to open his first shop in Summers Street, Farringdon. It was London’s first Italian deli. Having married his childhood sweetheart, the couple set up home in Warner Street, Little Italy. Business flourished and Luigi opened a second shop, adjacent to St Peter’s Italian church at no. 138-140 Clerkenwell Road.
When the shop in Summers Street burned down (year unknown), the delicatessen reopened in the wine shop in Clerkenwell Road. The shop’s cellars extended beneath St Peter’s Church and it is said that worshippers could smell cheese and salumi from below. Luigi Terroni died in 1917 and the business was continued by his sons. In 1983, the shop in Clerkenwell Road finally left the hands of the Terroni family. The business was closed for four years from 2008 until 2012 when it reopened on the same site next to St Peter’s Church, still bearing the name of Luigi Terroni.