Double duty for deli owner

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By Kevin Canessa Jr.
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY –

How Frank Riposta, owner of D&F Deli on Davis Ave., gets any sleep might just be one of the great mysteries of life. He and his wife, Diane, have owned the deli since 1983.

But since 2006, Riposta has also served as a real estate agent for Century 21 Semiao and Associates. And in that time, not only has he continued to operate one of the most successful and noted delis in Kearny, he’s also been one of the most successful real estate agents in the area.

And he credits a lot of his real estate track record to the success he’s experienced in 30-plus years of operating D&F.

“It’s really remarkable,” Riposta said. “So many of the people who I’m selling homes to now were kids who were carried into D&F as babies in diapers. Now, here they are, ready to buy their first homes, and they’re coming to me. It’s something special.”

Indeed it is.

Yet he somehow survives on about three to four hours of sleep a day. He’s working in the deli and with real estate clients for about 18 hours on average each day, he says.

A man they can trust 

Riposta says prospective homebuyers and sellers are coming to him because they already know they can trust him — just as they have for decades in the deli.

“The satisfaction I get in helping people is incredible,” Riposta said. “And the beauty of it is they always know where to find me. If I am not at the deli, they can find me at home since I live right across the street from the deli.”

Riposta also says another key to success is how he deals with his clients and customers.

“I’ve always treated customers and clients the way I’d like to be treated,” he said. “On the deli side, I’ve strived to provide my customers with quality food at a reasonable price. I know my customers are from the working class. They don’t want fancy food at fancy prices. But I always strive to give them the best food possible at the best prices possible.”

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And because of that loyalty Riposta shows in the deli, it translates into his seeing the same people when they want to buy or sell a home.

“And never is that more evident than when people need to do a short sale,” Riposta said. “They want to be able to trust their agent because they sometimes have to admit they made a mistake when they bought. And that they’re close to losing their homes. And for me, there’s nothing better than when I can help someone in danger of a foreclosure, avoid a foreclosure.

“It’s the difference in them being able to, let’s say, buy another home again in two years as opposed to a lot longer than two years.”

Riposta also says working in real estate is much more than making money.

“Do I like the paycheck? Sure,” he said. “But being able to help people who are under water get out of that is very satisfying. And I believe that’s been a key to my success.”

Interested in buying or selling a home with Riposta? Contact him at Century 21 Semiao and Associates at 201- 991-1300. Or visit D&F Deli at 396 Davis Ave., Kearny, or call 201-998-1293. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Observer Staff