Rosina Foods Products Inc. founder James Corigliano had a straightforward philosophy when it came to the way he ran his business. “He always said, ‘Do what you say you’re going to do and do what’s right for your customers,’” says his son Russell, the president and CEO of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based company.
Corigliano’s belief in building strong relationships with customers, the Rosina team and vendors is a common thread that has run through the company since it first opened as a small storefront sausage shop in Buffalo in 1963. Rosina, named for James Corigliano’s wife, Rose, has grown far beyond its origins to become the No. 1 seller of branded frozen pasta and meatballs in supermarkets and supercenters.
The company produces and markets frozen meatballs, pasta, eggplant and entrées under the Rosina, Celentano, Italian Village, San Rallo and Floresta brand names. Rosina’s brands are sold through retail and foodservice channels and are found in supermarkets, military commissaries, wholesale clubs and restaurants throughout North America, and internationally. The company also produces products that are used in other manufacturers’ products including soup, pizza and lasagna.
Rosina operates two facilities: frozen meatballs, sausage and pizza toppings are produced at a plant in Cheektowaga, N.Y., and frozen pasta, eggplant and entrée products are manufactured in West Seneca, N.Y.
All products are made with the same level of quality the Coriglianos prided themselves on 50 years ago. “We’ve seen some of the competitors we go head-to-head with lower the quality of their products so they can have a lower shelf price,” Russell Corigliano says. “We’ve never taken that approach; consistency and quality are our claim to fame and something we will have in our products forever.”
Rosina ensures the quality, consistency and safety of its products through its adherence to HACCP and other audit programs including British Retail Consortium (BRC) certification. The annual certification allows the company to serve retail, foodservice and industrial customers who specifically require it. “We’ve been successful for 50 years because of our very high-quality products,” Corigliano adds. “We make products people need and want, and we do it to the highest quality. We pride ourselves on the level of service we’ve achieved with our customers.”
In addition to safety and quality, the company also prides itself on its ability to fill orders accurately and on-time. Rosina reports a fill and order accuracy rate of more than 99.6 percent, which Corigliano and his brother, Frank Corigliano – the company’s executive vice president – attribute to the company’s use of forecasting, tracking and reporting tools. “It’s just the way we do business and part of our daily routine,” Russell Corigliano says. “When you have an organization that has great people and quality instilled into it, good things happen.”
The company’s efforts to be a exemplary supplier have been noted by several of its customers. Most recently, the company was selected “Frozen Food Supplier of the Year” by Reinhart Foodservice, the nation’s fourth-largest foodservice distributor, during its annual sales and merchandising conference in August. Rosina was one of five nominees selected from more than 1,000 of Reinhart’s vendors based on its commitment to quality, food safety and innovation, as well as the value it brings to Reinhart Foodservice, Rosina Foods notes.
Decades of Growth
Both Russell and Frank Corigliano joined their father’s company in the mid-1970s, just as it was beginning to grow in size. One big step for the company was in 1981, when it purchased a manufacturing facility just outside of Buffalo that allowed Rosina to expand into new markets and make products available nationally. Both Corigliano brothers assumed their current roles in 1997, when their father became chairman of the company’s board of directors, a position he held until he passed away in 2012.
“James created the vision for the company. By seizing an opportunity at an early stage of being in business, he realized the potential that existed in the company and worked incredibly hard to achieve it,” the company said of the late founder. “He recognized that quality products, service and solid partnerships would be the basis of success of his company.” Rose Corigliano, the company’s namesake and Russell and Frank’s mother, continues to impart her Italian cooking traditions to her sons and their family.
Two acquisitions allowed Rosina to significantly grow its product line and manufacturing capabilities. The company in 2000 acquired the assets of Celentano Brothers of Verona, N.J., a company with a similar history and family tradition. The Celentano product line added frozen entrées, filled pasta and eggplant products to Rosina’s offerings.
With new products in hand, the company in December 2002 purchased the 90,000-square-foot facility in West Seneca, N.Y., which it renovated to produce ravioli, specialty pasta and entrées. Rosina in July 2006 acquired certain assets of the Gina Italian Village and Floresta brands, which added different shapes and sizes to its pasta lines.
The company added more products to its line in 2011, when it bought the assets of the San Rallo Pasta Company, a division of Mitsui Foods, Inc. With this acquisition, the company added its specialty ravioli and eggplant products to its foodservice division, which serves restaurants and other operators throughout North America.
Looking to the Future
The company’s geographical footprint increased in 2010, when it created an international division serving Mexico, South Africa, and Puerto Rico and other Caribbean markets. Rosina now ships to distribution centers and works with third-party logistics providers in those countries to get its products on shelves.
The international division builds on the company’s 20-plus-year track record of successful distribution to Canada, which is 20 miles away from its Buffalo headquarters.
“We felt our distribution in the United States and Canada was solid, but in order for us to grow the organization, we felt we had to expand our geography,” Russell Corigliano says of the expansion. “People in other countries want the high quality, consistency and great taste of our products, but our challenge is how to get into those markets to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity for growth there.”
The international division is just one way Rosina Foods is preparing for the next 50 years. Russell and Frank Corigliano’s children are all now involved in the company, ensuring the family legacy started with their father continues into the future.
“We characterize ourselves as a legacy company and see it being sustained 50 years into the future,” Russell Corigliano explains. “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done here; this is the only job I’ve ever had, and I’m glad I can do it every day backed up by a great management team and a solid group of associates.”