SSM Early Winter 2020

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26 If you live in the New England area, you may recognize the iconic yellow and red labels of Pastene, the country's oldest, and one of the leading, importers of authentic Italian foods and ingredients. Entrepreneur Mark Tosi and his brother, Chris, represent the sixth generation of Pastene descendants who have helmed the iconic Canton-headquartered brand for over 145 years. Founded by Pietro Pastene, who came to the U.S. in 1848, the Pastene story began with a produce-laden pushcart and the country's first-ever imported olive oil in Boston's North End. Today, the company carries gourmet items, like their ever-popular Kitchen- Ready © Tomatoes, tuna, beans, breadcrumbs, pasta, peppers and hard-to-find varieties of olives and artichokes. A local staple in stores like Stop & Shop, Shaw's, and Market Basket, Pastene products are also carried by national e-tailers like Amazon and Walmart. The company recently announced the launch of its dynamic new e-commerce website, which represents a refresh for the iconic brand, featuring its vast product line, easy-to-follow recipes, searchable content and a streamlined buying process. "We've thrived for 146 years because of a relentless focus on quality ingredients that our customers trust. We've also evolved to meet new consumer tastes and changing shopping preferences," says Mark Tosi, the company's President and co-owner. "We continue to position Pastene for the future while staying true to our legacy by refreshing the brand to better reflect Pastene's evocative past, communicate our multitude of product offerings and establish our vision for the future." The new mobile-optimized website reflects current research on consumer shopping habits, which reveals that more people than ever are shopping online, cooking from home and looking for new ideas. Pastene implemented search-functionality and incorporated tempting imagery with easy navigation between products, recipes and blog content, while streamlining online purchasing. Pastene is also communicating more often and in more ways with consumers, by connecting on Instagram and Facebook, and with Pastene email subscriptions. Mark Tosi is eager to lead the Canton company to the next level of success. A lifelong South Shore resident, he started working in the Pastene warehouse when he was 16 years old. He and Chris did every job, from inventory and stocking shelves to working on deliveries for restaurants and grocery stores. They also traveled to Italy to study wine and food, because his father believed it was important for his sons to see all sides of the business from start to finish. "My memories of childhood include having lots of family and friends at the house. My Dad loved to cook, so our house was pretty popular," recalls Tosi. "I love that Pastene ingredients bring people together in the kitchen and around the dinner table, and create a space for families. I even get to work with mine, that's how close it brings us!" By Stanley Blackmur

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