Giovanni Food Company Inc.
For more than 80 years, the DeMent family has been offering a taste of traditional Italian cuisine to consumers at home in central New York and around the world. The legacy began in 1934, when the family opened The DeMent Grill, a classic Italian restaurant in Oswego, New York, after emigrating from Naples, Italy. Throughout its history, Giovanni Foods’ secret to success has been its sauce. After raving customers requested the family’s spaghetti sauces packed for use at home, the company transformed into a production house. Now, the business exports its own brand and private-label sauces all over the world.
From the shores of Lake Ontario to the dinner tables of consumers abroad, Giovanni Foods has seen steady success for eight decades. The popularity of the DeMent family’s sauce has only grown. The team has since closed The DeMent Grill, but a successful sauce production business is still booming less than an hour away in Syracuse, New York.
Since the 1970s, Giovanni Foods has served exclusively as a food manufacturer. The full-scale tomato sauce operation produces a full line of products. While consumers can still find the family’s traditional pasta sauces, Giovanni Foods now offers less traditional products, such as bruschetta and salsa.
“What is different about us is our history and staff. We are dedicated to making products that fit our customers’ needs,” says DeMent. “We are small enough to be dedicated to each customer with a different approach, although we are large enough to maintain high volume to meet their demands. Through our unique process, we discover what they need and what makes the customer and therefore the consumer happy, because most of our staff is communicating with them.”
The business operates from a 67,000-square-foot facility and an additional office building on the east side of Syracuse. With 70 employees, DeMent maintains a family atmosphere through strong leadership and a commitment to quality and service. “Our reputation is critical to our success,” he says. “It has allowed us to grow significantly over the last decade as we build relationships with customers and vendors.”
True to tradition, DeMent and his team have a serious passion for the product. Aside from taste, the company meets QAI Organic Certification, SQF Level 2 Certification and can provide Non-GMO Project Verified products. Products are also Kosher Pareve by Orthodox Union and gluten free, letting customers with food sensitivities rest assured that the sauce will not make them sick.
Giovanni Foods produces a range of products under its own name for retail and food service customers. The business also manufactures and packages private label products.
Consistency is key to the company’s success, which is why DeMent’s team performs everything in-house. “From concept to the finished product, we do everything here,” he explains. “We provide extensive product development services, as well as assistance with label design and providing nutrition facts and help with certifications. Of course we outsource printing of the labels and we have suppliers for glass and raw materials, but otherwise, our customer service is extensive.
Company brands include DeMent’s Italian Spaghetti Sauce, made from the original recipe served at the family’s Oswego restaurant. This traditional red sauce is a local favorite. It is smooth, not chunky, and features flavorful tomatoes and simple spices. The spaghetti sauce is available plain, with green peppers or with mushrooms and complements a range of pasta dishes. The family recipe can be found in local grocery stores and is available for purchase online.
Giovanni Foods also produces three other brands of pasta sauce. Luigi Giovanni is another traditional tomato sauce and a popular value item for customers throughout the United States and overseas. The company’s Greenview Kitchen and Tuscan Traditions brands are premium products, available in a range of flavors. Customers can opt for the original premium recipes or organic versions of the sauces.
While still in the vein of tomato-based sauces, Giovanni Foods steps outside the box with a line of salsa. The company’s Jose Pedro salsa is a value-optimized brand, available in mild, medium or hot. Made with a chunky blend of tomatoes, onions, peppers, jalapenos and cilantro, these flavorful salsas are great for snacking solo or bringing to a party.
Giovanni Foods has also built a solid reputation over the past 30 years as a leader in private label and co-packing. The company packs a wide range of products for companies across the United States and abroad. The business has a talented product development team that works daily on helping new customers create formulas that exceed their expectations as well as working with current customers to create line extensions and develop new products to suit their specific needs. Giovanni Foods can pack a variety of tomato-based products in glass jars, metal cans or plastic bottles. The company is always interested in participating in new and innovative projects, whether it is a unique recipe or a new type of packaging.
Carrying on the tradition
While the company has adapted adding new recipes and products over the years, the focus of Giovanni Foods remains the same. DeMent and his team strive to put forth quality, safe and delicious sauces every day. The company is taking on a growing market share including food service and retail customers at home in the United States and abroad. “One of our largest international markets is Israel,” he notes.
Having grown up in the business, DeMent takes pride in what the family operation has achieved over the course of more than 80 years. He has worked for the company his entire adult life, but says his involvement began more or less at birth. As time goes on, he and his hard-working employees continue to develop the product line, creating products and private label practices that better meet the needs of customers.
With a dedication to quality, value and food safety, Giovanni Food Company Inc. is carrying on a tradition of providing tasty tomato sauce products from Syracuse to the world.