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While many of today's businesses are built on balance sheets, Philadelphia Macaroni Company is built on generations of service and experience. From its modest start in Philadelphia's Italian Market to multiple factories located across the country, the company has grown in capacity and resources to meet the demands of the marketplace.
The First & Second Generations
Antonio Marano formed Philadelphia Macaroni Company in 1914 with his son Vincent. Initially the owner of a flourishing wholesale grocery trade on South 7th Street in Philadelphia, Antonio saw pasta rise throughout the early 1900's as his biggest import. When World War I wreaked havoc on international trade, Antonio entered the pasta-making business and turned a blockade into an opportunity.
An old piano factory located at 760 S. 11th St. in Philadelphia was converted into a pasta-making facility. The company's first big industrial account came during the mid-1920's when Campbell Soup contracted Philadelphia Macaroni to manufacture letter-shaped noodles for their alphabet soup line.
The Third Generation
By the late 1950's, Vincent's son, Luke, became the 3rd generation Marano to learn the family business. Taking over as chief executive in 1960, he steered the company toward its specialization in the Industrial Ingredient marketplace. A true entrepreneur, Luke imbued the company with a "can–do” spirit and an impatient sense of urgency. This desire to serve the customer's needs made Philly Mac a favorite with Research and Development departments of major food marketers.
An Instant Success
In the 1970's, soup marketers began searching for an instant noodle that could be packaged dry in a pouch instead of the traditional can. Philly Mac was called in and Luke formulated one of the first commercially successful, low-moisture pastas. Luke saw the need for quick-cook and convenience as the next opportunity, and sought the equipment to manufacture ramen noodles; becoming the first American company to produce this traditional Japanese product. Sons-in-laws Bill Urban and Bill Stabert joined Luke to assist him with his enterprises.
By the end of the 70's, Luke moved pasta manufacturing from the 11th St. building to a new factory near the Philadelphia airport. In recognition of his Italian Market roots, Luke chose to keep his corporate offices headquartered in the11th St. building while preserving many family memories.
Along Came Conte Luna
To keep up with demand, Marano expanded capacity further by acquiring existing pasta factories in Norristown, PA  and Warminster, PA . The Norristown plant made and marketed the retail brand Conte Luna. The Warminster plant was producing the Mueller's brand. These facilities provided entry into the contract packaging business. It was during the 80's when Luke's sons, Luke Jr. and Mark, joined the company.
The Mid-West Made Sense
Pasta is a very simple recipe - semolina flour and water. Semolina is made from a special variety of wheat known as durum which is predominately grown on the northern plains. In 1990, Luke Sr. constructed a state-of-the-art pasta factory in Grand Forks, North Dakota - literally in the heart of the world's largest durum growing region.
Pasta Man of the Year
In 1992, the National Pasta Association presented Luke Sr. with the "Pasta Man of the Year” award. This honor recognized Luke's tireless efforts on the behalf of the pasta industry and his passion for pasta. Luke Sr. became Chairman of the National Pasta Association from 1993 to 1997.
Realizing a Dream: Minot Milling
Luke Sr. always understood the importance of quality flour in the manufacturing of pasta. In 1998, as the pasta business continued to expand, Marano took the bold move to build his own durum flour mill and founded Minot Milling. While enabling vertical integration it also allowed Marano to realize the lifelong dream of owning and operating a flour mill. The mill allowed the company to source the highest quality durum, produce its own semolina for internal consumption, and market semolina to other pasta producers. Minot Milling further expanded in 2004 with the addition of a spring wheat mill, increasing its offerings to the market place.
In 2000, an IQF line was built at the Warminster plant to provide customers new offerings of cooked then frozen products. In 2006, the purchase of an existing pasta factory in Spokane, Washington was finalized; Philadelphia Macaroni was now able to complete its national manufacturing footprint.
Philadelphia Macaroni Company
In 2008, the Maranos chose to honor the founders of the company by returning to the original name of the company and re-branded all pasta operations, Philadelphia Macaroni Company.
Continuity - the Fifth Generation
Today the 5th generation and a third Luke - Luke Urban - follows the family tradition of working his way up from the factory floor to the manager's office. Young Luke is gathering the technical knowledge, family philosophy and the pasta making tradition under the watchful eye of his grandfather, Luke Sr. providing the continuity required to produce quality pasta and outstanding service.
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