Written by LeeAnn Searfoss
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:34
Genoa Wholesale Foods Celebrates 65 Years! Since 1947, during the years following WWII, the Nardone family has owned, operated, and cultivated Genoa Wholesale Foods. Modest beginnings saw a corner grocery store on Ross Street in Wilkes-Barre.
According to its website, “Larger grocery stores started entering the market at the same time that pizza restaurants started opening throughout the Wyoming Valley. The timing was right to pursue the opportunity to service pizzerias with the ingredients they needed.”
“My grandfather would sell his products and make deliveries while my grandmother ran the store,” Nardone said. “My grandmother likes to tell the story about the time they got raided by the police when neighbors became suspicious of the big metal cans my grandfather continually loaded into his panel van. They discovered peanut oil, not moonshine.”
In 1960, the family expanded the company to its warehouse on River Street, in Plains.
While the economy has fluctuated several ways between World War II and today, and continues to fluctuate as a perpetual roller coaster, the Nardone family found a niche and continues to be one of the largest suppliers of pizzerias and restaurants in the area.
“We have taken on hundreds of new items to better serve the needs of our customers and expanded the services that we offer, like multiple delivery days and product cost breakdowns,” Nardone added. “We have grown in size, but we remain a regional/local company, and that has given us flexibility that larger food distributors can’t match.”
To get through the economic climate, the Nardone family has stuck with the tried and true method of hard work and dedication.
“We work hard to provide the products to help our customers succeed, while promoting and supporting local restaurants within our community,” he said.
Nardone’s grandparents worked seven days a week and his father unloaded rail cars of tomato products by hand. Today, the Genoa name appears on a full line of private-label items that include only fresh, top-quality
products – tomato products, cheeses, meats, poultry, appetizers, cooking oils, dressings, pizza boxes, and paper products.
“We have all made sacrifices and spent countless hours of physical labor over many years to get where we are today,” he said.
In 2006, Genoa formed a partnership between Jay Nardone, Sr., and Jay Nardone, Jr., and now carries more than 500 different products and provides services to hundreds of pizzerias, restaurants, delis, and taverns throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Through that hard work and a continued partnership with area businesses, Genoa Wholesale Foods continues to thrive and keep local businesses alive and well.
“The worst scenario is when a local restaurant has to close its doors,” said Jay Nardone, Jr. “We lose a valued customer and the region loses a good alternative to a franchise.”
For more information about Genoa Wholesale Foods, visit www.genoafoods.com.