You may be wondering who we are and how we got started. My name is Debbie and I am a native San Franciscan. My father was an Italian immigrant and my mother was first generation full blooded Italian. Of course, growing up in Italy, my father was an awesome cook. (All Italians learn to cook at a young age). At 14, my father worked at a bakery in Torino, Italy, learning the trade, making bread, bread sticks, biscotti, amaretti and other Italian pastries. At 18 he joined the Italian Navy and became Chef to the officers, where he refined his cooking skills. When he came to the states, he got married and became partners in Sunrise Bakery in San Francisco. He eventually sold that, worked for Parisian for 14 years and again became partners in Cuneo Bakery, Italian French, and Ruby Bakeries.
As a child I grew up spending a lot of time in the bakery and with the wonderful tastes of Italy. I learned to bake and cook from my father and my Nonna (grandmother), in Italy on my many summer visits. As is the tradition in Italy, I worked in the family business, learning from my father how to make Bread, Bread Sticks, Biscotti, Amaretti, and other Italian pastries from our family recipes and working in the bakery retail store. As I grew older my father wanted me to join him as owner in the family business, but I had other plans. I started a career as a flight attendant, got married and had a family. Little did I know that my background was going to come in handy.
Why Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, and Peanut-Free, and NO GMO?
As things turned out, my second son, Cory, had food allergies. Not just one or two allergies, but eight. They included some common, as well as some uncommon, staples: gluten (wheat), soy, eggs, dairy, peanuts, lentils, garlic, and green peas. Along with all of his allergies came a malabsorbtion problem.
As you probably guessed, I love to cook and bake for my family. I am health conscious and use nutritious, fresh, organic ingredients when preparing dishes for my family. I always substitute healthier ingredients in all my Italian dishes, like ground turkey in my sauces, garlic instead of salt, and cold press olive oil. So, as you can imagine, not only was I distraught that my son couldn’t eat my Italian dishes, I was shocked that he was malnourished.
Well this was not going to work. I was going to have to cook and bake a whole new way, which included gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and without GARLIC? I bought a box of gluten free bread mix and made a loaf. My son screamed “gross” when he tasted it. I had a bite and said something similar! I thought “I can make something better then this”. With my knack for substituting ingredients, I looked at the box for the bread and said “I would change that, and that, and I would use this, and” You get the idea.
So, I got the ingredients I thought would taste better and made a loaf. That loaf was pretty good for “gluten-free”, but not good enough to an Italian’s taste buds. I was determined that my son would eat good tasting nutritious foods, as all people deserve, and enjoy foods of my heritage. After a year of playing with the recipe, I finally came up with a gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free bread that tastes great!! In fact, my whole family now eats my bread instead of store bought.
But bread wasn’t the only thing I needed to develop. I also found that I had to create some sweet treats for my son so he could participate in the eating festivities of birthday parties, family functions, and school events without feeling left out. So I took some old family recipes handed down from my Nonna in Italy and changed them. I came up with new recipes for Biscotti, Breadsticks, and Amaretti, as well as making up a new nutritious treat that I call Pezzi, (Bites), which are completely gluten-free, soy-free, vegan friendly, peanut-free and I USE A LOW GLYCEMIC SWEETENER (coconut nectar).
All of my products had to pass the true test of whether they were good tasting and that was whether kids would eat them. There is no doubt that I was able to bring the Old World Flavors back to our table at home. We now enjoy some of my family’s traditional foods again and we hope to bring these to everyone who has missed them or perhaps never had the wonderful tastes of Italy.
How we came up with that tag line?
If there’s one thing I know, it’s Italian food taste really good!
As a child of an immigrant we visited the relatives in the old country many many times. And everytime we went over there we stayed with relatives, helped cook meals and went house to house visiting other relatives or friends of the family.
At each stop the family and friends would pull out the offerings of food and if you’ve ever been to Italy you know that they eat lots of amazingly delicious food. If you don’t eat the foods they prepared for you (because maybe you are so stuffed from the last house you visited), you will offend them! They’d say “mangia mangia” or “you are too skinny”! How could you not eat this wonderful food they’ve prepared! The best compliment you can give them is to eat all your food and say “MMM BUONO” which means “mmm good”.
My Nonna in Italy taught me that when you think something taste good, you point your index finger to your cheek, placing the tip right on the surface of your cheek, rotate/twist your finger back and forth and say “mmm buono”! Of course this is something that children are taught so don’t go off to Italy and try this in an Italian restaurant, (although they would definitely find it amusing).
Since our products are so delicious, we decided to use “Mmm Buono” as a tag line because we know that this is what you will say when you taste them!
After you try one of our products we know you’ll agree that they’re