There will be no tailgate parties in the parking lot of East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium before Super Bowl XLVIII. on February 2. Much to the consternation of fans, the traditional celebrations have been banned for this event due to security concerns.
But inside the Meadowlands complex, a “VIP Tailgate” celebration will be in full swing for four hours leading up to the 6:30 p.m. kickoff. NFL professionals, their coaches, families, and guests will be in attendance, sampling delicacies from, among other caterers, Princeton’s D’Angelo’s Market.
“We’re super excited,” said Danielle D’Angelo, one of five family members who run the Spring Street market and another store in Ocean County. “We were shocked, because we really weren’t expecting it. It’s a big honor to be able to represent Princeton at this national event.”
Ms. D’Angelo said once the family knew the Super Bowl would be held in New Jersey, they made several attempts to reach the NFL Host Committee in California. Finally, they were able to schedule a sampling of their menu in October 2012.
“There was a selection process held by the host committee. We’re not the sole caterer, but we were one of the top chosen,” Ms. D’Angelo said. “We sent samples and they were interested in some of our menu items.”
As of last week, the family was asked not to disclose just what they’ll be sending until the menu was finalized. “But we have had a series of run-throughs,” Ms. D’Angelo said. “And I can tell you that they requested 2,500 servings of the menu items. We’ve never done anything of this magnitude.”
D’Angelo’s is no stranger to large-scale events. The market has catered for Princeton University Athletics, the FBI, and the New York Police Department. But the Super Bowl, where some 2,500 guests are expected, is in another category.
“The most we’ve served is about 1,000,” said Ms. D’Angelo. “And we’re only allowed to send six people. They have a very tight security system. We had to do background checks and screenings. We have special uniforms, photo ID’s and special passes. We had requested more staff members, but they said six is the maximum.”
D’Angelo’s opened its Spring Street location in 2011. The family’s other business, Tuscany Italian Specialty Foods, has been in Jackson since 2000. Ms. D’Angelo, one of five family members involved in the business, said that while her brother is a big football fan, she doesn’t know much about the sport.
“I’m not sure what to expect, but I know this is a really big deal and a big honor for us,” she said. “We’re ready to go.”