96 Years of Quality 

When you step into the warehouse of Joseph Antognoli & Co. on Pulaski Road and take a deep breath, you will smell some of the most pleasant aromas in Chicago. A hint of imported Parmigiano-Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, pannetone and espresso is always in the air, composing a sensual symphony that has played gloriously for over 90 years.

In the nine decades since Joseph and Louise Antognoli founded the company, it has been shipping some of the best Italian food

in the world - produced both in Italy and America - to Italian specialty food stores and delicatessans in the Midwest and throughout the country.

Why are there so many prosperous clients for this particular wholesaler of Italian foods? "For over 90 years, we have been selling only the best. We have been giving the best possible service, too," says sales manager Mitch Formato. Even President Joseph Antognoli and Vice President Vincent Candice will occasionally put a small order in the trunk of their cars and drop it off on the way home if a customer says they need it right away and it is too late for a regular delivery. During a blizzard in the 1970s, one of the company's longest-serving employees, Innocent Mazzucchelli (a World War I veteran), made stops in Rockford when most truckers refused to go on the interstate highway.

Other wholesalers may talk about "quality" and "service," but Antognoli has been doing it every day for over 90 years. And it has paid off, not just in repeat business, but also in retaining hard working salespeople and executives. But Anotgnoli never takes its success for granted. "Business is good, but the competition has never been more intense, Candice observes. Antognoli now handles more than 600 different products and is constantly re-evaluating existing products and introducing new ones.

Antognoli is the Midwest's largest distributor of Italy's No. 1 brand of coffee, LavAzza. Atognoli also imports familar brands such as Il Duomo olive oils and De Cecco pastas, plus a full line of canned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and Italian cheeses. Antognoli even manufactures a number of deli items under the Pagliacci label, like the hot pepper spread, made from their famous giardiniera. In the vast and modern Antognoli kitchens, an expert and hard-working crew produces a wide variety of products from recipes that date back to the turn of the 20th century.

Whether it is the Antica Italia line of flavored olive oils, the new Paesana line of gourmet pastas and sauces or the wide range of Pagliacci products, Joseph Antognoli & Co. sets the standard of excellence. Never one to rest on his laurels, Joseph Antognoli, Jr. travels to the giant food show in Parma every two years to see if he can raise that standard. In this way, Antognoli customers get only the best.

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