Respect and passion were hallmarks of the iconic Westchester County, NY entrepreneur Lou DiLisio. So when the sauce-making guru went in search of the right partner for his Casa DiLisio prior to his passing, the requirement was going to be much more than just the highest bidder.
DiLisio, who passed away in January, had many suitors come to his door during his legendary career. But it wasn’t until a visionary Italian company came knocking that Mr. DiLisio considered selling. Daniele Diotallevi of BC Gourmet USA (Buona Compagnia) checked all of the boxes that Lou DiLisio was looking for. BC Gourmet USA brings a legacy of success to Casa DiLisio and the US foodservice marketplace.
BC Gourmet USA has a pair of factories in Italy, BC’s Treviso, factory produces its award-winning gnocchi, which is made exclusively with fresh potato. Its Savona facility produces Pesto and a full line of sauces. “Our goal when we make product is to be efficient without being industrial, so that our customers get authentic flavor. Think of it as product like our grandmothers used to make without preservatives,” Diotallevi continued. “Casa DiLisio’s approach reminded us of how we produce our pesto in Savona. We only use fresh basil and a recipe that is pure. That has enabled us to accomplish a level of quality that is virtually impossible for an industrial operation to achieve. We have built a successful footprint in the UK, Germany and France and now most recently in the United States.”
“When we first opened our BC Gourmet USA operation in Lynn, MA, I would run into Lou at trade shows,” noted Diotallevi. “From the very first conversation, you could just feel the passion and uncompromising commitment to the quality that Lou and his family produced their sauces with.”
BC Gourmet USA’s opening in Greater Boston has been a homecoming of sorts for the company’s president. After completing his undergraduate studies in Rome, Daniele Diotallevi earned his MBA at MIT’s Sloan School in Cambridge, MA. Casa DiLisio offered the perfect conduit for Diotallevi’s company to expand from retail/grocery into foodservice in the US.
“Like many other folks that came knocking at his door, he wasn’t interested in talking to us at first,” the Italian sauce impresario added. “We were able to begin to talk seriously when he saw that we were serious about building upon his legacy. The discussion focused on whom the primary suppliers needed to be to ensure the standards Lou had set for the Casa DiLisio sauce line. We are so fortunate that Lou’s daughter Linda who worked at his side and the team in Mt. Kisco has joined the BC Gourmet USA team. She has a great feel for the needs of the US foodservice end-user customer and the distributors that support them.”
With the move to Lynn, MA, Casa DiLisio’s product line can now be executed with FDA approval, and are certified SQF Level II. “This will open a number of doors for us that we previously did not have access to,” noted Linda DiLisio.
Casa DiLisio joins BC Gourmet USA’s Sauces ’n Love, lineup of brands in the US. In addition to foodservice the portfolio includes Retail Refrigerated, Retail Shelf Stable, Private Label, Bulk Pouches, Hotel Mini Bar and Co-Packing capability from its North Shore facility in Massachusetts.
BC Gourmet USA’s goal is to provide their customers with the traditional Italian, fresh, and homemade flavors. Since 1999, BC Gourmet USA has produced fresh, healthy and delectable sauces and pasta. The line features sweet and savory tastes that are sugar free, gluten free with delectable vegetarian sauces, pastas and dips.
“Our approach will continue to be to have our product tasted side by side with our competition which will enable chefs to appreciate the difference,” Diotallevi explained. “Lou did that for years and it is a tested approach that we believe in. Walking the streets, knocking on doors and sitting in front of chefs simply can’t be replaced. The goal is for chefs to taste and realize that we can provide them with consistent flavor that is perfect for foodservice and stands the test of time. Let’s take an example of a Hilton Hotel. It may have four restaurants and a chef may get promoted. With our sauces, you can lock in the consistency you need throughout a property.”
“We feel a lot of responsibility to continue to do things exactly as Lou was doing them. He had the most wonderful commitment to ethics how he treated his product and his customers. His mantra was truly to take care of his customers and that legacy will inspire us as we move forward,” Diotallevi concluded.
The foodservice industry is excited as we see the iconic Casa DiLisio brand continue the legacy of one of its true legends: Lou DiLisio with the visionary stewardship, Daniele Diotallevi at the helm.