SEASON 1: EPISODE NUMBER: 16

EPISODE GUEST: The Piraino Family of DePalo Foods

DePalo Foods is a family-owned manufacturer of some of your favorites: calzones, strombolis, dough… ah, comfort food. You see their products in your local grocery store but have you thought about what it takes for each item to get there? Owner, Rico, and his sons Joseph and Philip to talk continuing the family legacy.

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DePalo Foods is a family-owned manufacturer of some of your favorites: calzones, strombolis, dough… ah, comfort food. You see their products in your local grocery store but have you thought about what it takes for each item to get there? Owner, Rico, and his sons Joseph and Philip to talk about continuing the family legacy.

Rico Piraino started out in the food industry in 1982, right out of college, joining his brother in the wholesale business in Boston and Philadelphia.  As the company expanded, he decided to move to Charlotte, N.C.

The first original DePalo food products are the same ones as of today: calzones, strombolis, and any items filled with meats and cheeses. During the time of expanding they went into the pizza business for a time, selling it in 2002.

Rico Piraino continued working with the company for 8 years then decided to leave and start up another company in around 2001.

His sons didn’t join the family business until much later. Phillip joined unexpectedly around 2015 and Joseph joined in 2017 traveling around learning the accounting side of the business.

Rico’s advice for starting your own business is to have mentors around you.  When he was starting out, he had no idea what he was doing, but leaned on people around to him for help. “It’s important to listen to everyone and then many your own decisions from what you’ve been taught,” Piraino says.

One piece of advice he has for people starting out: slow and easy wins the race. Learn to start small and slowly build up what you want to accomplish.  

 

“It’s important to listen to everyone and then many your own decisions from what you’ve been taught.”

– Rico Piraino, DePalo Foods

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