Former Local Restaurant Owners Launch Craft Box Food To Support San Diego Culinary Artisans During Difficult Time

April 5, 2020

After closing his namesake restaurant last fall, the chef behind Maestoso Italian restaurant recently converted his online retail business and launched Craft Box Food - a  company launched to help struggling local small businesses by shipping boxes filled with curated San Diego-made artisan foods.

Since at least early March, Italian born Marco Maestoso has been frantically warning his social media network that we as a country were not doing enough to prepare for COVID-19's arrival in the United States. He had been watching how the coronavirus was being downplayed by the mainstream media while at the same time hearing stories of how the pandemic was ravaging his home country of Italy. In retrospect, he wishes he was wrong but Marco has decided to do the most he can to support local businesses while maintaining his devotion to social distancing and self-quarantine.

After closing his eponymous eatery in Hillcrest this past November, Maestoso was devastated and worked each day to find a new location to reopen while at the same time launching a mobile retail business with his partner Dalila Ercolani. The couple began selling pre-packaged versions of Maestoso's signature pinsa pizza crust at area restaurants, farmers markets and grocery stores. In retrospect, Marco looks at his restaurant closure as a blessing in light of today's COVID-19 precautions and the forced closure of all California eateries for dine-in.

"We had just started our online business three months ago and the business was doing really good," explained Craft Box co-founder Dalila Ercolani. "We got high sales from clients and the supermarkets were selling out. Then we got hit again. It was heartbreaking when the whole thing happened."

This past March, amid the sprawling shelter-at-home measures aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus, the young couple decided to launch Craft Box Food to help their fellow San Diego food purveyors in need while ensuring that the local community could get good food delivered to their homes. Craft Box Food is a web-based business that distributes curated boxes of rotating San Diego-sourced artisan food items, including Maestoso's own pinsa bread, Seven Seas Roasting coffee, Coyotas flour tortillas, Monzu fresh pasta, Cori Pastificio sauce, Aya Raw Foods chips, San Diego Tempeh snack loaves, and Surf’s Up Salsa. All of the items are from local providers and new producers have expressed interest to offer their items in future deliveries. The box currently costs $50 with a $5 delivery free. Check out our unboxing video below.

For information and to order your Craft Box Food, visit