Open house to be held March 20
Columbus, Ohio-based Carfagna’s Italian Foods, a food company that has been family owned for more than eight decades, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and private reception at its new manufacturing facility March 20.
The 11,000-s.f. facility, located at 3518 Johnny Appleseed Court on the north side of Columbus, will allow for both increased production of the family’s growing line of homemade sauces and soups and additional jobs to facilitate the growth.
Carfagna’s launched its manufacturing operations in 1995, leasing space near the campus of Columbus State Community College.
“This move really gives us room to breathe,” said company co-owner Dino Carfagna. “Given the space limitations at our former plant and volume of product we’ve been selling, we were at maximum capacity. The challenge for us was to accommodate the increased demand while not straying too far from our original location.”
Founded by the family’s immigrant patriarch Sam Carfagna in 1937, Carfagna’s has blossomed from a small farmer’s market to three separate business entities combining to employ more than 100 people. In addition to the manufacturing enterprise, the Carfagna family, under the guidance of co-owner brothers Dino and Sam Carfagna, operates Carfagna’s Meat & Specialty Foods, a grocery store on the city’s north side, as well as Carfagna’s Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant located in the Polaris area.
For decades, the family jarred its sauces and soups in the bakery of its grocery business, selling them only in their store. As the popularity of their products rose, the family launched manufacturing operations, which lead to distribution deals with food service vendors and other retail stores.
Today, Carfagna’s sauces and soups are available in several stores throughout the state, including The Andersons Market, Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Kroger Marketplace, Whole Foods Market and a multitude of independent stores.
“Carfagna’s is one of the most enduring small business success stories in Central Ohio, if not the entire state,” said Nate Filler, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association. “You just don’t see too many independent businesses in any industry lasting 76 years, let alone one that spans four generations of a single family and continues to evolve and thrive. It’s truly remarkable.”
Though the family has yet to scratch the surface of its expanded facility’s potential, they already have designs on where the added capacity will take them over the next decade.
“It’s more everything,” said co-owner Sam Carfagna. “More space allows us to create more products. More product necessitates us adding more employees. The growth and capacity will enable us to get into more stores while keeping pace with the added volume. We’ll also now be able to expand the restaurant aspect of our business and we’re already researching which Central Ohio communities might be good fits. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but we’re very excited for the next chapter.”
As if growing their businesses isn’t special enough, the brothers noted that their new facility’s location provides added sentimental value: it is one block from their childhood home in Minerva Park where three generations of Carfagnas once lived.