Bruce Entelisano Interview
(Sano’s Sauce And Spice Co.)
There’s a new player in the Pasta Sauce business in Central New York.
Their name is Sano’s.
Bruce Entelisano fills us in.
Q – How long has Sano’s been in business?
A – We started as a small Italian restaurant in 2005. But, the Sauce and Spice Co. with our pasta sauce and original spice mix is brand new, opened in July of 2008.
Q – Do you have a restaurant in Rome, New York?
A – No. The restaurant that started all this was closed the day we opened in our new facility.
Q – The pasta sauce field is pretty crowded isn’t it? What do you believe separates your sauce from your competitors?
A – Besides the great taste, the most obvious from the bottled sauce is the reduced levels of sodium. Look at all the jar sauces out there; some have more than triple the amount of salt we do. Salt is not good for a healthy lifestyle and we know it is not necessary at such high levels. We get a great taste with much reduced levels of salt. For our other retail products, the spice mix, to make your own Italian sauce, we really have no competition right now. The product doesn’t require ‘shelf space’ as it hangs from a strip off the edge of any surface. The stores love it because it is an excellent way to encourage shoppers to be healthy while at the same time encourage sales of other products they carry-----things like onions, olive oil, tomatoes and the like. Customers love it because it saves them a ton of money, makes a great sauce and is very simple to use. I tell people this spice mix is like the ‘Good Seasonings’ of Italian sauce. What ‘Good Seasonings’ did for Italian dressing we are doing for Italian sauce!
Q – Did you personally develop the sauce?
A – The sauce is the product of several generations in my family. It was for developing because in the old days, even now, it really seemed like nobody ever measured anything, you know, ingredients, and proportions. It was always a little of this and a little of that and nobody ever knew how much, exactly of what was required. So, I guess by developing, if you mean converting my experience into a formula that would always be the same, then, yes I did develop it. In fact, for purposes of use in my restaurant and the need to appeal to the taste buds of a larger market, many ingredients were added and some like salt were reduced.
Q – What is Mereato Fine Foods? Is that your parent company?
A – No. The parent company is Mid York Development Corporation. Mereato is an Italian word for market and it’s what we use for the name of our own retail and online store. The store operates out of a small front at our company location in Rome, New York’s ‘Little Italy’.
Q – With the introduction of Sano’s into the Price Chopper stores, was this your 1st attempt to expand into the market place beyond Rome, New York?
A – We were already in local markets like Green Hills in Syracuse and selling online at www.easyitaliansauce.com. We also used an Ebay store in the early stages to test market our products. It was very encouraging and motivated us to take on the next level. Price Chopper is just the beginning. We need to be in every retail outlet we can and follow that up with advertising and promotion.
Q – How difficult was it to convince Price Chopper to carry your product on their shelves?
A – Price Chopper was very cooperative, very interested and very helpful. I don’t think it was a difficult process at all.
Q – And now that it’s on their shelves, how are you marketing it?
A – For the purposes of selling what is on the shelves at Price Chopper we are doing free taste samplings in each store. We have also tried heard to create a ‘buzz’ through local media and have successfully been featured in many publications. You can see all of those articles at our website www.easyitaliansauce.com. We are also doing television ads.
Q – Where do you want to take the company? Do you want to stay regional or are there plans to go national?
A – Well, in that order, we do hope to go from regional to national. Our Ebay test sales were made to customers all over the country and we received nothing but positive feedback. It is all very encouraging and-----it is all very exciting.
Official website: www.33sanos.com
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