New location allows Giovanni Foods to grow locally and nationally

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On Election Day, many people will be eating a spaghetti dinner, and one local company has been cooking up its spaghetti sauce recipe for nearly 100 years.  

Now, Giovanni Foods brand new production facility is allowing people all over America to eat their fast expanding menu of products– all made in Central New York. 

Giovanni Foods chef Eric Lynch is adding his twists on a tried and true recipe developed by the DeMent family at their Oswego restaurant back in the 1930s. 

The patrons loved the sauce so much that they asked to take it home. 

So the DeMents started selling containers of it from the restaurant, then the basement, and then the garage.

After that, they built a 30×30 manufacturing space behind the restaurant. 

It served them well for decades, but the company, renamed Giovanni Goods in the late 70’s, is now in its third facility in about a dozen years. 

Their last location was a monumental step for the company about seven years ago.

“We went from one semiautomatic line to three fully automatic production lines, I call it the quantum leap year which really helped us go from ‘ma and pa’ to real robust fully automated state of the art production,” said Giovanni Foods CEO Lou DeMent. 

The company is still settling into the new plant– nearly three times the size of their last location– in Clay. 

They offer about 550 different varieties of products, many you’ve probably bought and never known they were made here.

Almost all of their work is split evenly between products it makes for sale under the labels of grocery and retail store chains or other brands. 

Many are hatched from their R and D Production kitchen.

The company develops various products by design of the clients, their own innovation for their customers or a combination, always looking at new styles like organic, kosher, less sodium, from sauces to salsas and more.

Hundreds and thousands of pounds of ingredients are mixed together to make their catalog of products, many of them tomato based. Right now they get three to five rail cars of California tomatoes sent to Central New York that are then trucked over to the plant.

Dement says they’re at about 85 full time employees but are looking to hire more right now with a fifth production line starting next month and a sixth in the first quarter of next year.

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