San Sepolcro, New York, New Jersey
The Buitoni brand began in Sansepolcro, Italy where Giulia and Giovan Battista Buitoni opened a pasta shop in November of 1827. It was after the pasta shop opened, that locals of the town began to fall in love with the pasta.
One of the main reasons their pasta quickly gained popularity is due to the excellent durham wheat that was sourced for a town 600 km away.
Giovanni Battista Buitoni, a fourth-generation Buitoni, brought Buitoni products into production outside of Italy in 1939. It is at this time that Giovanni and his wife, Letizia were invited by the Hershey Chocolate Company to the 30th anniversary celebrations at their headquarters in Pennsylvania, United States. In that same year, they also attended the 1939 World’s Fair to New York City to promote their own products.
In order to acknowledge the amount of money visitors were being asked to pay for food, Giovanni opened a pop-up spaghetti café on the site, where plates of pasta were dressed in simple sauces and sold for about 25 cents each. From these visits, they decided to stay in the United States because they were enjoying the American lifestyle.
Before they could return to Italy the Second World War broke and Giovanni was forced to remain in the United States and fend for himself. His wife, Letizia pawned her jewelry to enable Giovanni to find a small area in New Jersey to open a pasta factory. It is here that the Buitoni products began to sell.
Within 15 years Buitoni Foods Corporation had a larger factory in South Hackensack, New Jersey, one in Brooklyn, a spaghetti restaurant in Times Square, New York City, and a Perugina shop on Fifth Avenue.
In 1953, Giovanni returned to Italy and founded the International Buitoni Organization in order to coordinate all of the industrial activities.
Even today, despite the fact that the company no longer belongs to the Buitoni family (it was bought by Nestlé in 1988), the brand continues to be associated to Italian pasta and other Italian food products, and has a certain popularity throughout the United States.
Head of Buitoni Company
Trade With Italy
Official Magazine of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in New York
“Our Story.” Freshly Made Italian Pasta, Sauces & Cheese, May 17, 2021. https://www.buitoni.com/our-story/.
Cherubini, Claudio, Francesco Chiapparino, Renato Covino, Giorgio Sacchetti (eds), Il pastificio Buitoni. Sviluppo e declino di un'industria italiana (1827-2017). Roma: Nova Delphi, 2021.