The DeMent family has been producing top-quality tomato sauce for over 70 years. In 1934 the family set up The DeMent Grill, a small restaurant in Oswego, N.Y., to bring a taste of the home country to the new country, and the family’s traditional sauces proved so popular that customers would ask to take sauce home. Seeing the potential in retail, the DeMents eventually transitioned into a full-scale tomato sauce manufacturing operation, DeMent Foods, which in the late 1970s transitioned into the Giovanni Food Company Inc. (Giovanni Foods). Today the company produces a full line of tomato-based products – from traditional Italian-style sauces to bruschetta and salsa – with the same attention to detail the DeMents insisted on 70 years ago.
Though the company has since closed The DeMent Grill, Giovanni Foods and its team continues to offer gourmet products from their company headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y., and Giovanni Foods takes pride in continuing to use only the highest quality ingredients in all of its products. “Whether we’re producing value products for private-label clients or our own gourmet line of pasta sauces, we never forget that our reputation was built on quality products and ingredients,” asserts Louis DeMent, vice president and general manager of Giovanni Foods.
DeMent represents the third generation of family owners and operators, and the company continues to devote itself to producing only the best hot-filled jars or cans that are crafted to order. The company’s recently upgraded manufacturing plant is Orthodox Union (OU) kosher certified and certified organic by Quality Assurance International. Giovanni Foods sources all of its tomatoes from one of the largest packers in California’s Fresno Valley and continues to craft all of its sauces in small batches for greater consistency.
A Multicultural Family of Products
Under the DeMent’s Italian Spaghetti Sauce brand, Giovanni Foods produces the DeMent family’s signature sauce that fueled original business growth. Though green pepper and mushroom varieties have made it into the lineup, the brand represents the traditional Italian style of sauces that put the family’s restaurant on the map. Under the Luigi Giovanni brand name, Giovanni Foods also produces smooth pasta, pizza and sloppy joe sauces that pack a one-two punch of flavor at a wallet-friendly price point.
For gourmet consumers Giovanni Foods recently introduced Greenview Kitchen, a line of sauces based on an original family recipe. Unlike the DeMent and Luigi Giovanni brands, Greenview Kitchen is a chunky style sauce leaning slightly sweet on the flavor spectrum. Giovanni Foods produces the sauce in marinara, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper and spicy eggplant flavors. Organic varieties are available in marinara, roasted garlic and spicy tomato. To offer customers a quality alternative between the value and premium lines, Giovanni Foods also carries Harvest Traditions, a national brand equivalent of one of the most popular pasta sauce brands on the market today. This line is available in traditional, sweet tomato basil, garlic and onion, as well as mushroom.
Giovanni Foods also produces a line of salsas under the Jose Pedro brand name and has supplied one of the nation’s largest dollar chain stores with private-label salsas. “Our salsas have been a very fast-growing item and we plan on expanding the category further with new flavors like mango and pineapple in the future,” says DeMent.
Unlike many food producers, however, Giovanni Foods produces a mix of high-end gourmet items and more modestly priced value items to cater to market trends and maintain steady sales in any economic climate. Families across America are looking to pinch pennies wherever possible and the company aims to lend a hand by producing sauces at a friendly price point without compromising on flavor.
Additionally, Giovanni Foods numbers amongst the few producers manufacturing tomato products for distribution to the Needy Families program and the Food 4 Kids program through the USDA. Both publicly funded programs provide support to families with children and little or no income for the essential food staples.
Today, Tomorrow, Tomato
For over seven decades Giovanni Foods has been producing a wide range of quality tomato-based products for both private label and the company’s own brands. With the company’s new USDA- and third-party audit-approved facility, Giovanni Foods has more capabilities than ever before. There are many packaging options available for both retail and food service products. The plant allows the company to pack organic, kosher and gluten-free products. Giovanni Foods co-packs for companies worldwide, shipping to customers throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, to name a few.
This increase in strategic initiatives benefits the company as the economy struggles to recover. Noting the need to diversify, Giovanni Foods continues focusing on growing its co-packing opportunities and expanding its product selection beyond pasta sauces. “We are experimenting with a barbeque sauce formula at the moment, and we want to focus on diversifying our product line and possibly bringing products we produce only for private-label customers into our own family of brands,” says DeMent.
To pursue its ambitious growth strategy, the company will also collaborate with its strategic partners to stay on top of a fast-growing line of products and a complex supply chain. In summer 2009 Giovanni Foods began working with JustFoodERP, a vertically focused software producer that provides Microsoft Dynamics-based solutions for the food and beverage industry. DeMent recognized that harnessing technology, and specifically an ERP system, was critical for company growth and successful customer service. After diligent research and a long evaluation process company management chose JustFoodERP to deliver these key elements.
JustFoodERP provided Giovanni Foods with a comprehensive software solution to track food safety, sales, purchase planning, inventory management, manufacturing, shipping, research and development, and accounting. The integrated software provides Giovanni Foods with greater transparency across all of its operations.
“We love working with Giovanni Foods because our organizations share a strong belief in continuous innovation and doing everything possible to help our customers,” expands Marc DiGiorgio, vice president of JustFoodERP.
Always looking to incorporate new means of efficiency and accountability to reinforce quality, Giovanni Foods has grown into one of the nation’s leading producers of tomato-based products in its 70-year history. Continually pursuing new avenues for growth, the Giovanni Food Company Inc. will adhere to the quality standards and traditional flavors set by the DeMent family in the 1930s while developing new lines that successfully reflect current consumer tastes and trends.