Timeless family tradition becomes a staple at the grocery store

Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces founder, Anthony Costella, explains why he put his job aside to start a small Made in America success story.

Food has the power to nourish mind and body, bring joy to people, and unite diverse communities and cultures.

Just four years ago, first-generation Italian immigrant Anthony Costella decided that he would jar his Nona’s original 19th-century marinara recipe and sell it.

“I have always loved to cook, learned it and passed it down through two generations from my parents. Italians love to cook up Sunday sauce with family in the kitchen, so over the years we’ve always served it to friends and family, as well as raising our two children, Michael and Anthony,” Costella told Fox News Digital.

“And whenever we had friends or family over,” he continued, “they always commented on how authentic the marinara was and how delicious it was.”

After making large batches of the family’s secret sauce in their home kitchen and testing it in local markets, Antonio Carlo gourmet sauces are now available from major retailers including Amazon, The Fresh Market, Publix, Harris Teeter, Earth Fare and Lowes Groceries.


“It’s like eating at home or at a fine Italian restaurant,” Costella said, “and believe it or not, I still do weekend demos even though we’re in big retailers because I just love it.” to meet customers and hear their stories of how they use our products and share them with others.”

While all ingredients are imported from Italy, according to founder Anthony Costella, Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauce is manufactured and manufactured entirely in the United States. (Getty Images)

“And we’d love to one day pass that on as a legacy to our kids and grandkids to see if they can take this thing even further,” added the founder.

Antonio Carlo’s four flavors – Original, Roasted Garlic, Tomato Basil and Arrabbiata – are gluten-free, made with all-natural ingredients and contain no preservatives or added sugar. While the tomatoes come from San Marzano and all other premium ingredients are shipped from Italy, the sauce is mixed, bottled and assembled entirely in the United States at three manufacturing facilities.

“Our products are hand-filled, handmade, and that really sets them apart from anything else on the shelf. There’s really a big gap in texture, finished product and taste,” said Costella. “But that just goes to show that it’s a direct result of the proprietary cuisine and the ingredients used.”

In the early days of business, Costella recalled, he and his wife Kate would wake up at 3 a.m. every morning to cook and test the sauce.

Antonio Carlo’s original marinara recipe was created by Costellas Nona and dates back to 1877.

The company also offers flavored variations of the original marinara sauce, such as B. Tomato basil.

Roasted Garlic is another flavor option from Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces.

Antonio Carlos’ version of a spicy marinara pairs perfectly with seafood, Costella told Fox News Digital.

“We would go to every Walmart and wipe them out of every Ball jar on the shelves within a 10 or 15 mile radius,” the sauce boss said. “From 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., stirring the sauce, five pots, six parts, two stoves, every day for three years … to the point I got ‘marinara elbows.'”

When Costella came up with this idea in the middle of the pandemic, he admitted that he and his wife had encountered “minor glitches” amid supply chain and inflationary pressures.

“I couldn’t understand why glass was such a problem,” he remarked, “but glass and glasses became a problem. So we tried to be a step ahead and we saw several companies buying large quantities of jars and lids. So we stocked up in the early days.”


Amid rising tomato prices and looming shortages, Costella said the company has also been stocking up on the essential ingredient for Antonio Carlos gourmet sauces.

“[You] I really can’t find anything else in the grocery store that has that truly homemade feel, taste and texture.”

– Anthony Costella, founder of Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces

The hardest part of this process was getting the sauce onto store shelves, according to the founder, who, as a small business, pointed out, “You have to perform. You really need to take the product off the shelf or else once the review comes up you’re out. And then all the money goes up in smoke.”

So far, customer feedback has been “so positive” that Costella details reviews from families who shared their “gratitude” for the homemade sauce, which took less than five hours to make.

“Everything is so positive, like, ‘Oh my god, it’s like my grandmother or my mother made it, it brings back memories to me of when I was a little girl or a little boy,'” he said. “You really can’t find anything else in the grocery store that has that truly homemade feel, taste and texture.”

Anthony Costella, founder of Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces, says his family’s secret sauce recipe “has that truly homemade feel, taste and texture.” (Fox News)

At the heart of this little success story is inspiration from the family. While Costella’s Nona is lauded for the original marinara recipe, he thanked his wife for making her dream come true.

“I owe her everything because we are all busy and busy at work too and if it were up to me I would never have taken the first step to fill out that first form, the first of thousands of forms.” But Kate convinced us and I that we really need to do this for our family and future legacy,” said Costella.

“We involve Anthony and Michael in decisions and keep them informed about everything we’re doing, the new retail chains we’re working with and the deals we’ve been awarded. We keep them up to date with all the co-packers we hired, the media companies, our brokers,” added the father and founder. “We make sure they are on board and learning the business as I am learning the business learn every day. The food industry, it’s all new to all of us. So we’re all learning together.”


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Sharing a message to other business owners and entrepreneurs who may be hesitant to pursue a dream or idea, Costella reminded Americans that “passion and hard work will trump almost anything.”

“If that’s your focus and passion and you’re willing to work hard, it’s doable,” he said. “We always say that we want to make Antonio Carlo Gourmet Sauces a household brand on every shelf in the galaxy. We want to be number one in marinara sauce because our recipe from my Nona, God rest her soul, is really special.”