Pastene is North America's oldest importer of premium Italian packaged goods. It began as a pushcart operation in Boston's North End in 1848. Pastene has the distinction of being one of North America's oldest continuously operated family businesses. To date, Pastene has been owned and operated by descendants of Luigi and Pietro Pastene. A family atmosphere, sense of community, and honor in business dealings have always been the hallmark of Pastene's operating philosophy.
In 1848, Luigi Pastene came to Boston from Italy and began selling produce from a pushcart. By the 1870s, Luigi, now joined by his son Pietro, had established Pastene as a company selling groceries as well as produce. The early 1900s was a time of geographical expansion for Pastene with distribution and packing facilities established in New York, Montreal, New Haven and Havana as well as in Italy in Naples and Imperia.
The mid 1900s was a time of focus on the retail supermarket trade with Pastene becoming the pre-eminent ethnic, premium Italian grocery line. It was during this period that Kitchen Ready tomatoes were developed. Kitchen Ready tomatoes are distinctive in that they are vine sweetened, fresh-packed crushed tomatoes topped with a sweet puree. Kitchen Ready tomatoes soon became and remain to this day the flagship product in the Pastene line of fine foods.
The late 1900s saw the continued development and expansion of the Pastene line into virtually every fine retailer. As the quality of the products created a demand by food service institutions such as restaurants, a Food Service division was established to sell to fine restaurants.
In 2009, we celebrate our 135th birthday. Our focus continues to be the same as it has been throughout our proud history. Provide the best quality to the consumer. We're looking forward to our third century!