Pastene’s headquarters are moved to Canton, Massachusetts. Chris and Mark Tosi – fifth generation family members of founder, Pietro Pastene – take over the company with a renewed vigor for fresh, high-quality ingredients and consistent flavors. They maintain the same quality standards and commitment to product consistency for which the Pastene brand has come to be known.
Fun Fact: Until the mid-1970’s, Pastene was the sole distributor of Robert Mondavi wines in New England.
Pastene introduces what would quickly become its flagship product – Kitchen Ready© Tomatoes. These fresh-packed tomatoes set the industry standard and become the secret ingredient in thousands of family sauces.
Fun Fact: To date, Pastene has sold over 275 million cans of Kitchen Ready Tomatoes.
Upon Pietro’s passing, the company was handed down to the Tosi family, cousins who had been a part of Pastene & Co. for generations. They focus their sights on the retail supermarket trade, positioning the company as the pre-eminent specialty food importer in North America.
Fun Fact: Pastene was well ahead of the times, making long-time employee Reba Ullian the highest-ranking female leader of a major US importer, naming her head of Pastene & Co.’s New York office.
Pietro and his sons expand Pastene & Co., with offices in New Haven, CT, New York, NY, Montreal, Canada, and Naples, Italy. But in 1917, business suffers as German U-boats stifle imports from Europe to the United States and many Pastene employees are deployed to support the war effort.
Fun Fact: Up until prohibition, Pastene & Co. was the first to bring in wines from California for sale throughout the U.S.
Luigi Pastene makes the trip from Italy to the United States, settling in Boston where he sells fresh fruit from a pushcart. Over the years, Luigi’s family and business grows. He branches out from fruit to high-quality, imported Italian ingredients and products and eventually hands his company over to his son, Pietro. The business flourishes as Italian immigrants turn to Pastene as a trusted importer of familiar-feeling Italian goods.
Fun Fact: Pastene is the oldest specialty company in North America.