When people ask me about what it’s like to write for a food industry trade journal, I know exactly what I’m going to say - because it’s what R&FF Editor Bob Garrison told me when he offered me the job. What makes this industry really interesting is the people.
People like the Corigliano brothers, who I interviewed for this month’s cover story. Brothers Russell and Frank, Rosina Food Products president and CEO and executive vice president respectively, first worked alongside their father at his storefront sausage shop in Buffalo, N.Y. By the time they were adults, the brothers were ready to buy the business – by then, a blossoming meatball processor.
“We joke that we went to the U of R – the University of Rosina,” Frank says. “We have been coming to this business since we were seven years old.” Like many of you, the Coriglianos’ story is about tradition, family history and loving what you do.
I may be relatively new to Refrigerated & Frozen Foods (it’s been about seven months now) but my appreciation for food and those who prepare and market it has been cultivating much longer.
I have gravitated toward food since I entered the workplace at 15. My first real job was slicing giant trays of dense, fudgey brownies and tart, sugar-topped lemon bars at a local gourmet food store and caterer. This was a job I held on to during summers home from college - partially for the modest hourly wages, but mostly for the company’s signature roasted red pepper dip and the free scones and “day-old” bread I got to take home.
I’ll never forget a woman who I worked alongside – a septuagenarian who meticulously cleaned the pastry case every night after closing, and personally brought fresh flowers from her garden to adorn the gourmet desserts every morning – simply because she took pride in the way the case gleamed and how fresh petunias spruced up the display.
Later, my first job out of journalism school was for a specialty coffee magazine where I met coffee roasters and baristas who spoke about their trade more passionately than any other industry I have encountered … until now.
Thank you for continuing to share your stories with us – and each other. I hope you find the stories of passion, tradition and innovation as interesting as I do.