Timeless family tradition becomes grocery store staple

Trending 4 weeks ago

Food has nan powerfulness to nourish minds and bodies, bring group joyousness and merge different communities and cultures. 

Just 4 years ago, first-generation Italian migrant Anthony Costella decided he would jar and waste his Nona’s original marinara recipe making love backmost to nan 1800s.

"I've ever loved to cook, learned it, passed it down from 2 generations from my parents. Italians emotion to beryllium successful nan room pinch family cooking nan Sunday gravy, truthful we'd ever service it to friends and family complete nan years, arsenic good arsenic raising our 2 children connected it, Michael and Anthony," Costella told Fox News Digital.

"And whenever we would person friends aliases family over," he continued, "they would ever remark really authentic and really delicious nan marinara was."

After making large batches of nan family’s concealed look gravy successful their location room and testing it retired successful section markets, Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces are now disposable astatine big-box retailers for illustration Amazon, The Fresh Market, Publix, Harris Teeter, Earth Fare and Lowes Foods.


"It's for illustration having a repast astatine location aliases a good Italian restaurant," Costella said, "and judge it aliases not, I still do demos connected nan weekends, moreover though we're successful awesome retailers, because I conscionable emotion gathering customers and proceeding their stories, really they utilize our products and sharing it pinch others."

Marinara condiment successful a bowl

While each ingredients are imported from Italy, Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauce is wholly made and manufactured successful nan United States, according to laminitis Anthony Costella. (Getty Images)

"And we'd emotion to manus this down to our children and grandchildren someday arsenic a bequest to spot if they tin return this point moreover further," nan laminitis added.

Antonio Carlo’s 4 flavors – original, roasted garlic, tomato-basil and Arrabbiata – are gluten-free, made pinch all-natural ingredients and person nary preservatives aliases added sugars. While nan tomatoes travel from San Marzano and different premium ingredients are each shipped from Italy, nan condiment is mixed, bottled and assembled entirely successful nan United States astatine 3 manufacturing plants.

"Our products are hand-filled, handcrafted, and that's really what makes it different from thing other connected nan shelf. There's genuinely a awesome spread successful nan consistency, nan vanished merchandise and nan taste," Costella said. "But that conscionable goes to show it's a nonstop consequence of nan proprietary cooking and nan ingredients used."

In nan early business days, Costella recalled, he and his wife, Kate, would aftermath up early each greeting astatine 3 a.m. to navigator and sensation trial nan sauce.

Antonio Carlo's original marinara look comes from Costella's Nona and dates backmost to 1877. | Fox News

"We would spell to each Walmart and swipe them retired of each nan Ball jars connected nan shelves wrong a 10 aliases 15-mile radius," nan condiment leader said. "From 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., stirring nan gravy, 5 pots, six parts, 2 stoves, each time for 3 years… to nan constituent wherever I did get ‘marinara elbow.’"

Coming up pinch this thought in nan midst of nan pandemic, Costella admitted he and his woman did tally into "minor glitches" pinch proviso concatenation and ostentation pressures.

"I couldn't get my caput astir why solid was specified an issue," he noted, "but solid and jars became an issue. So we tried to get up of it, and we saw respective companies bargain ample amounts of jars and lids. So we stockpiled successful nan early days."


Amid rising herb prices and looming shortages, Costella said nan institution has besides stockpiled connected nan basal constituent for Antonio Carlo’s Gourmet Sauces.

"[You] really can't find thing other successful nan market shop that has that genuinely homemade feel, taste, texture."

- Anthony Costella, Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces founder

The astir challenging portion of this process has been getting nan condiment connected unit shelves, according to nan founder, who pointed retired arsenic a mini business, "you request to perform. You really request to move nan merchandise disconnected nan support aliases else, erstwhile nan reappraisal comes, you're out. And past each that money goes up successful smoke."

Thus far, customer feedback has been "so positive," pinch Costella detailing reviews from families who shared "gratitude" for nan homemade condiment that doesn’t return 5 hours to make.

"Everything's truthful positive, like, ‘Oh my goodness, it's for illustration my grandma utilized to make it aliases my mother made, it brings memories backmost to maine erstwhile I was a small woman aliases a small boy,’" he said. "They really can't find thing other successful nan market shop that has that genuinely homemade feel, taste, texture."

Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces laminitis headshot

Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces laminitis Anthony Costella says his family's concealed look condiment "has that genuinely homemade feel, taste, texture." (Fox News)

At nan halfway of this small-business-turned-success communicative lies inspiration from family. While Costella’s Nona receives in installments for nan original marinara recipe, he gave in installments to his woman for making their dream a reality.

"I beryllium it each to her because we're each engaged and engaged astatine activity arsenic well, and if it was up to me, I would ne'er person taken measurement 1 to capable retired that first form, nan first of thousands of forms. But Kate convinced us, and me, that we really request to do this for our family and nan bequest going forward," Costella said.

"We do impact Anthony and Michael successful decisions, and we support them abreast of everything we're doing, nan caller retailer chains that we're moving pinch and nan contracts that were awarded. We support them successful measurement pinch each nan co-packers that we've hired, nan media companies, our brokers," nan begetter and laminitis added. "We're making judge they're connected committee and they're learning nan business conscionable for illustration I'm learning nan business each day. The nutrient industry, it's each caller to america all. So we're each learning together."


Costella shared a connection to different business owners and entrepreneurs who whitethorn beryllium hesitant astir pursuing a dream aliases idea, reminding Americans that "passion and difficult activity will outperform almost anything."

"If that's your attraction and your passion and you're consenting to activity hard, it tin beryllium done," he said. "We ever opportunity that we would for illustration to make Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces a family marque connected each support successful nan galaxy. We want to beryllium nan number 1 marque successful marinara sauce, because our look from my Nona, God remainder her soul, is genuinely special."