August 25th - 29th
Food Buying Journey In Italy with Anthony Tocco from Carmela Foods
What does just about every major Italian market, restaurant, county club, hotel have in common? A passionate food supplier by the name of Tony Tocco.
Hailing from Detroit’s east side, this 40 year-old Italian American began in the food distribution business by servicing new customers from the trunk of his car.
Now, with six trucks on the road statewide and a 35,000 square ft. warehouse packed with Italian food products from every region of Italy, Tocco remains personally involved with his customers’ needs and wants with an ever-growing list of offerings.
I first heard about Tony’s latest food-related expedition a scant four days before he left for Italy. He called me August 21 st and explained that he was heading to a city near Napoli to hunt down the ultimate canned tomatoes; he wanted to see first-hand the preparation and packing process. His desire to go on such a journey stemmed from a discussion he’d had with one of his best customers, Joe Vicari, owner of the Andiamo chain. Joe and Chef Aldo wanted a new tomato, so Tony set out to find the best one being produced. Our production team was able to tag along on this exiting journey.
We first stopped in Chicago to pick up a close friend, Eddie Greco from Greco & Sons Inc. and Chef Peter Schonman from Biaggi’s Restaurant. Our four day trip took us over 900 miles and 12 hours in the car driving. We traveled from Rome to Napoli to Cosenza to Bari then back to Rome.