You could say Italian food is at the heart of the Italian family. No matter what’s going on all day, everyone gets together in the evening to enjoy delicious dishes and convivial conversation. It’s loud, it’s joyous, and its delectable. This is the lifestyle that Paul Guglielmo grew up with, and at the heart of it all for his family was his grandfather’s homemade tomato sauce.
As a child, Paul’s parents would bring him to dinner every Sunday night at his grandparents house, where they would eat pasta slathered in the most perfect sauce. As a young child, he didn’t realize how spoiled he was by how special the sauce was. But as he grew older, he learned the story behind the sauce.
The sauce began with his great-grandmother, Mary, in Great Depression-era Ohio. Born in Italy and searching for cheap foods to make in the Depression, Mary went back to her roots. She picked fresh tomatoes, veggies, and herbs from her garden to create her flawless pasta sauce for her homemade pasta. (A much better Depression era dinner than the lard sandwiches that presumably killed my grandfather’s tastebuds.)
Mary’s sauce was so good it caught on with the neighbors immediately. Soon she was making batches of sauce to give to everyone in her neighborhood, sometimes trading it for garden-grown veggies, but never asking any money for it.
In the beginning, it was easy for Mary to keep up with the demand for sauce, but slowly her children began moving out, and then her husband died. That’s when Mary’s son, Paul’s grandfather Pete, stepped up to help her make her sauce.
Mary taught Pete how to pick the tomatoes properly so that they used only the most ripe tomatoes. He spent days in the barn during tomato season learning how to can the tomato base perfectly so that they could have the freshest sauce all year round. He learned that it’s best to keep the tomato base on high heat to cook the tomatoes down, but you have to stir constantly or they’ll burn. And over time, Pete became a master at making the sauce.
Pete never stopped making the sauce. He made it for his three children, and for their children. And that’s how Paul came to love it. When he was 21, Paul decided that he wanted to learn how to make this special sauce, a decision that thrilled his Grandpa Pete, who thought the sauce would die with him. So, Grandpa Pete taught Paul the secrets. Paul’s first lesson was in the tomato fields, learning how to find the perfect tomato, just like Grandpa Pete’s first lesson had been.
In an effort to truly display what his family recipe means to him, Paul put hours of thought and consideration into his labels, studying the jars of sauce local retail stores already carried on their shelves. Every sauce seemed to be promoted as being either "the best/gourmet" or "the economical version". Guglielmo’s wanted to stand out in a totally unique way, conveying the emotional connection Guglielmo’s sought to create with anyone buying a jar for their own family. "I wanted to reach out to people’s hearts," he explains. "My family is very tight. Food has a lot of emotional connections. We wanted the label to say, ‘I love you.’"
And so it does. Guglielmo’s labels feature illustrations reminiscent of children’s bedtime stories, and if you study them, you’ll realize that they depict Paul as a child, with his Grandpa Pete.
The sauce that you buy is from the Guglielmo family table straight to yours. And since you can’t join them for dinner at their table, Paul Guglielmo himself has put together an Exclusive Offer to bring you his grandfather’s sauce.