LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this article from Serious Eats: “Meet the Bronx Italian Importer Conquering New York’s Restaurant Scene”. Love every word of it; it tells our story, but most importantly, it tells you who we are.
- We are opinionated and honest: We often say no to stores and chefs who would like to buy from us. After 14 years in business, we now know who the people are with whom we can have a happy business relationship. It’s certainly not a matter of money. Many of the restaurants who buy from us are small and not famous. It’s a matter of sharing the same values.
- We represent in the US only the Italian producers we know well and respect. Our due diligence takes a long long time. In the case of Pasta Faella, for example, it took four years, as the article says. “If we introduce a new extra virgin olive oil at a decent price, people trust us”.
- “Early on, Gustiamo only sold exclusively to consumers across the country… But everything changed when Del Posto chef Mark Ladner discovered piennolo tomatoes, a remarkable variety grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius… ‘Our chefs travel and they’re very knowledgeable about the products. The chefs here talk to the chefs in Italy… Then they find Gustiamo, as Ann Arbor’s Zingerman’s Deli did. One of the owners, Ari Weinzweig, fell in love with the product and story of Pasta Martelli, an entirely family owned and operated business in Tuscany.’ “
- Our role as Gustiamo is to represent Italy’s farmers; we also see it as our duty to protect them. They aren’t interested in having their real San Marzano tomatoes put on shelves next to “low quality, industrial products” and having the “consumer associate their products with those.” And here we go back to the first comment: We say no very often.
But no need to continue, here. Do read the whole article. Grazie mille, Chirs Crowley and Serious Eats, on behalf of all our honest producers.
Published on: May 16, 2014