If you’re looking for anything from sausages to sodas and seltzers, The Bosco Family Food Company delivers. And if it’s a zingy new beverage you’re looking for, Bosco is even about to make its mark in the soda world as a manufacturer and supplier of its own sparkling sodas and seltzers.
In business since 2005, Bosco distributes provisions from Karl Ehmer, which specializes in hams, sausages, bacon, pâtés, and many other fine smoked products. Bosco also distributes Chersi Sodas, with its exciting new flavors of Bouratino and Tarragon, according to owner Tony Maltese.
Maltese, whose in-laws started the business, one of New York State’s biggest distributors, maintained that the company’s focus on the personal touch is what’s made it so successful. “When you’re our customer, everything is for you. We’re hands-on. Our company is privately owned. That means we take personally everything we do. Whatever size we grow the company, whatever we do, you’re always going to see me hands on and watching what’s what, because that’s what I do.”
“If you’re looking for a supplier who will be with you for the long haul, it’s Bosco,” Maltese promised. “Relationships are very important to us, Maltese said. “Restaurant owners like to know that, when they start dealing with somebody, that person they’ve been dealing with all these years is still there, protecting them. That’s what we do. That continuity is very important. You become our customer for life.”
Bosco’s customer base includes foodservice, restaurant, and supermarkets. “Almost every genre you can think of, as far as meats are concerned,” Maltese explained. “And that in itself is unusual because, typically, you have a lot of people calling on you for just one thing, so you’re juggling lots of calls and orders. With us, you just deal with us. Our customers love the way we take care of them.” The company was started when Maltese’s father-in-law retired from Boars Head in 2003. “We wanted to reinvent ourselves and come back as a provision company, but not causing any damage to the existing customer base,” Maltese pointed out, “And we started doing that through soda.”
Bosco bought a Russian manufacturer back in 2003 and created its own proprietary brand. “It had a strong following in the streets for the European community. But that business has changed over the years because of importing and the fact that product importing is a lot cheaper than making it here in the U.S. And that was really the foundation of Bosco right there,” Maltese stated.
In fact, the company does make its own product. “Right now we don’t pack it but very soon we’re going to be making it ourselves, original and flavored seltzers, including such specialty flavors as Bouratino and Tarragon. Today we have between eight and ten flavors and we make it in a variety of sizes – one liter, two liters, and a 12-ounce glass,” Maltese said proudly.
A new taste in soda is infused waters. “It’s a different type of customer, a more sophisticated, funky customer,” Maltese asserted. “Whether it’s a vitamin-infused water or a seltzer with a little bit of a zing to it that’s becoming very popular, we can supply any restaurant with this popular new kind of beverage.”
The second step in Maltese and his team reinventing the company was its return to its roots. “Everybody in the business knew us from our days with Boars Head. So when the opportunity presented itself to purchase an iconic brand like Karl Ehmer, it was a perfect fit for us,” Maltese said.
With Oktoberfest just around the corner, Bosco is poised to assist Metro New York restaurant and food service operators to create new seasonal profits. “One of the things that we’ve acquired over the years is a lot of experience with how to add the right Octoberfest menu to a foodservice operator’s menu,” Maltese noted.
“We had a restaurant called The River Inn near us that had never had any sort of Oktoberfest menu. We were able to create a Bavarian platter that featured three or four sausage varieties and a smoked pork chop. We also added a potato pancake and it went over surprisingly well. People would go in, they’d get their beer, and order a Bavarian platter for two,” Maltee continued.
Bosco has also become a staple at the annual Specialty Food Show at the Javits Center in New York. “The show gives us the opportunity to introduce new products and to listen to our customers,” Maltese explained. As a result of that input the firm is currently working on several new natural line additions to the Karl Ehmer line.
In today’s marketplace, it’s all about creating a signature on your food and beverage menus. With a single call to Bosco Family Food, Maltese and his team are ready to help the Tri-State foodservice operator accomplish that goal.