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you never grow old
This was a favourite saying of my father’s. Maybe that’s what inspired him to leave his profession as a jeweller in Italy and open a grocery store on College Street in Toronto.
At that time, Toronto was full of Italians newly immigrated to Canada. Food was one way they were able to maintain a connection to their homeland. However, authentic Italian foods were not readily available in Canada at that time. But the Violante Grocery Store built their reputation on stocking a steady supply of whatever Italian foods they could get their hands on.
The demand for Italian food was obvious – but for whatever reason demand far outpaced the supply. Some might see a problem. My father saw an opportunity.
In 1960s, the grocery store was sold and an importing/distribution company was born. I had recently graduated and was ready to dive into this new endeavour.
I’ve never looked back. My entire career has been devoted to bringing the flavour of Italy to North Americans.
Of course, we’ve grown a lot along the way. Our product line continues to expand. We’ve brought some manufacturing under our umbrella (including espresso coffee, of course – but also Italian-style Easter Eggs). We are proud to represent some of Italy’s best-selling and well-loved brands. We’ve even had a name change.
But one thing has never changed – our focus on bringing you honest, authentic Italian foods from reputable producers at a fair price.
It is a true pleasure to play a part in bringing Italy to your table.
PRESIDENT & CEO