Joseph Rienzi Interview
(Vice President of Rienzi Foods)

Rienzi Foods has been around since 1967.

Initially they made and sold mozzarella and flour to pizzerias and bakeries throughout New York City.

Over the years they expanded their product line and their sales market.

We wanted to focus on the growing business of pasta sauces and took our questions to Joseph Rienzi, Vice President of Rienzi Foods.

Q - As you see it, what separates your pasta sauce from all the other pasta sauces?
A - Rienzi pasta sauces are actually 100% imported Italian. The product is actually made in Italy whereas most others have just an Italian name but not necessarily imported from Italy. One main feature that separates Rienzi pasta from others and is probably the most important characteristic is that Rienzi owns its own farms in southern Italy, in particular the Basilicata Region. We grow our own ingredients and use these ingredients in our products. That is why our slogan is from our farm to your table! No one else is able to say they are not only authentic Italian but grown their own ingredients.

Q - You really have your work cut out for you don’t you?
A - Yes. That’s an understatement.

Q - It’s such a competitive business.
A - Extremely competitive and you need to stand out and be different or you will not last long.

Q - Why did you get into the pasta business?
A - We entered into this category because we saw in opportunity to cross merchandise or pasta and sauce in a promotional strategy that will create a meal plan for the customers. Customers can buy a sauce and get a pasta free on some promotions or even-two. The idea is to provide the customer a healthy meal to feed five at $6.99. That is a cost of $1.40 per person.

Q - Your pasta sauce is now on the shelves of Price Chopper. How long did it take you to make that a reality and what does it mean to you to have your product in Price Chopper?
A - It means a lot to me to have distribution in Price Chopper. I think they are a great retailer who is beginning to make some changes to bring even more services and value to our mutual customers. It took me about three years to finally get distribution in Price Chopper. I think they are extremely careful to review their portfolio to assure that the right type of foods and services are brought in to make the best for their customers shopping experience.

Q - What are your job duties as vice president of the company?
A – Rienzi is a family company. We are a major corporation and are not driven to perform based on our stock price. We run our business to provide the best possible product that is authentic Italian at the best possible cost to the customer. As vice president of Rienzi my job is to assure that all parts of the company and operation are working together in production, logistics, retailer product authorizations and presentations as well as coordination with our Italian firms.

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