Nick's Picks: Rubino's
Instagram fame is typically reserved for meme accounts, vain, delusional, half-naked narcissists, and Jonah Hill. However, much to the delight of Instagram users in Rochester, a very special local account has achieved social media stardom by cutting through the explore page sewer otherwise filled with Rupi Kaur quotes, workout videos, and booty pics—posting gorgeous photos of prosciutto.
Rubino’s, the Italian import store and deli in Irondequoit, is on Instagram as @rubinos_italian_food. With more than 1,000 posts, a dozen or so stories each day, and upwards of 5,000 followers, this divine page is a haven for Rochester foodies. Kristina Riberti, the daughter of Phyllis Riberti, who co-owns Rubino’s, runs the Instagram account with her brother, Michael. After a marketing internship with New Era Cap Company and a stint running the social media for Adrian Jules Custom Clothing, Kristina joined her brother in operating the Rubino’s Instagram page in 2017. Today Riberti is behind the majority of Rubino’s posts, including the perfectly photographed pictures of Italian meat, sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts. While it is old-school, old-world Italian in every sense of the term, Rubino’s utilizes a modern medium as a tool to attract young customers from every corner of Monroe County.
“Since starting the push of the Instagram and Facebook accounts, we have seen direct growth in the business,” says Riberti. “People place orders through social media and ask questions that we can readily answer.”
Rubino’s is not a typical deli. Huge pieces of cheese hang from the ceiling, the pastry section boasts a massive cannoli filled with smaller cannoli, there is a stash of hoodies and shirts with “Italy” written across the front, and instead of bubble gum or chap stick next to the cash register, there are prewrapped squares of Sicilian style pizza, just in case one needs a bite on the way out.
What many people now know Rubino’s for, thanks to Riberti’s Instagram wizardry, is its ready-to-order food. Some of Rubino’s most popular recent posts include photos of penne alla vodka pizza, Buffalo chicken–stuffed bread, a tray of chicken french, and the Capo—a signature sub made with prosciutto, mortadella, pepperoni, and hot capicola topped with roasted red peppers, red onions, and oil.
There is no catfishing with Rubino’s. What you see online is what you get in real life. Each product is as delicious as it looks. For more than sixty years, this deli has offered honest food, hospitable service, and hard-to-find ingredients to generations of Rochesterians. Now, with a top notch Instagram followed by thousands of local millennials, Rubino’s success looks to continue for generations to come.
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