For the past six years I have lived in the United States - although I was born in Italy.  I grew up in the Northern Italian city of Trento and, as much as I love it here, that will always be my “home.”

 

When I think about my life in Italy, what often comes to mind is the pleasure of sitting around the table with my family; my mother and father as well as my brother, Emanuele, and my sister, Francesca. The celebration of food and family is such an important part of Italian culture.

 

Growing up, we were fortunate because my father, Giancarlo, scoured the Italian countryside to find the finest regional Italian products for his food distribution business, Alimentitalia, which means simply “food from Italy”.  Therefore, not only were we immersed in the traditional cooking of our Trentino-Alto Adige region, we were also exposed to foods from all throughout Italy.

 

Eventually, all three Lapiana children joined my father’s business to carry on the family tradition of helping people experience Italian culture through the many wonderful foods from each region. Emanuele works with my father in Italy to run our European and Asian businesses. Francesca is based with me in Oakland, California, where we run our U.S.-based business, Italian Foods Corporation. 

 

Italian Foods Corporation was born in 2001 as the U.S. arm of Alimentitalia when I moved to the San Francisco area and I began running the business out of my home. 

 

Before long, I could no longer handle the business from my home, and in 2004, we opened our office in Oakland and secured warehouse space. In 2006, we expanded and opened a warehouse in New Jersey to better serve our customers in the Eastern United States.

 

Today, our products are in Whole Foods, Dean & Deluca, Kowalski’s Market, Lunds, Central Market, AJ’s Fine Foods, Nugget Markets, Straub’s Fine Grocers and Hyde Park Gourmet as well as hundreds of specialty stores nationwide. We are thrilled with the success.

 

In many ways food not only defines our regions, but our life, and it is my hope to share that important part of my culture with you and your loved ones through the delicious artisan products we import for your table.

 

 

Elena Lapiana



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