When thinking about Italian food, it’s hard to resist the sense of togetherness that comes with it. Traditional Italian meals are served family-style with foolproof recipes that have been savored and passed down for generations.

The Schwan sisters, or Sara Cross and Kim Schwan, have made the service industry their calling for almost a decade and will soon become restaurateurs on their own terms with a uniquely fast, casual dining experience called Sorelle Delicatessen. Appropriately sorelle means “sisters” in Italian.

They’ll be offering traditional Italian deli recipes at their historic 1880s location on U.S. Highway 24 in Buena Vista, including family favorites such as the lasagna they enjoy every year at Christmas inspired by their Italian grandmother, or Nana.

The deli will also offer takeout options and a grab-and-go corner filled with luxury foods so customers can also prepare their own Italian meals at home with local, healthy, made-fresh ingredients.

With a grand opening set for early fall, the two are also spending countless hours restoring the quirky building and renewing its charm. The plan for such an undertaking has been two years in the making, and they say it couldn’t have been done without the help and support of their family.

The sisters credit their catering experience in the Ark Valley with giving them insight into the area’s culinary interests and needs. “We wanted to provide good quality, cost-effective comfort food. I don’t want to serve anything here that I wouldn’t want to serve my children,” said Schwan. “We will have sandwiches like meatball or Italian sausage in addition to traditional turkey, capicola, prosciutto, fresh pasta dishes and salads. And we want to offer a place where you can get all the ingredients needed to make your own Italian meal at home.”

This dynamic duo will feature Colorado-sourced goods to provide hormone- and antibiotic-free products in addition to all of the homemade recipes. They’ll also offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options on the menu and in their grab-and-go corner.

At Sorelle, no meal is complete without a craft beer, wine or homemade sangria, and even those taking their meals to go will find a comfortable bar and lounge area where they can enjoy a beverage while they wait. The indoor and outdoor seating will provide a family-friendly environment where guests can dine around the table among “family” for lunch or dinner.

The sisters are happy to be doing what they love and sharing it with the community. “We see people all over town that are all so thrilled for us,” said Cross. “The community support has been amazing, so we are excited to be able to finally open our doors and share it with everyone.”