Talluto's Authentic Italian Food

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Talluto's showcases its food at an Italian Festival.

A chef by profession, Joe Talluto enjoyed sharing his passion for Italian Cuisine.  Joe’s knowledge and appreciation of simple Italian cooking drove his hope of opening his own ravioli store.  In 1967, Joe sold his family’s home in Southwest Philadelphia for $7,500 to purchase a $7,400 ravioli machine, and moved his family of six into a building he owned “around the corner.”  Joe Talluto was 60 years old, and at a time when most men his age were preparing for retirement, he was committed, both personally and financially, to pursuing his longtime dream.

Joe’s eldest son Joseph A.M. Talluto, had recently completed military service and planned to become a sheet-metal worker when his father insisted he join him in his venture. Over the years, Talluto’s Authentic Italian Food, Inc. (T.A.I.F.) continued to grow and in 2002 the business moved into a 50,000 sq ft USDA and HACCP certified facility in Folcroft, Pa. This move allowed T.A.I.F. to grow even more by expanding their market to food service distributors and restaurants throughout the United States. Over the years the company has developed a strong reputation for having superb-quality products, high integrity, and a family atmosphere.

Joe Talluto first came to the Widener University SBDC in 2009 in search of marketing assistance and revenue growth. The company faced a tough challenge after losing a major client and source of income. The SBDC was able to place a summer intern from the university with T.A.I.F. to analyze the company’s current market position and develop new marketing opportunities. The SBDC also worked with T.A.I.F. to develop a more effective pricing model, as well as showed them how to perform an extensive financial analysis.

Another key area of focus was helping the T.A.I.F. team to build an organization development and strategic planning process. Although the company had previously flourished, they lacked a clear and focused plan for revenue growth and business processes improvement. Along with the SBDC, T.A.I.F. began holding weekly status meetings which focused on a scorecard to track the progress of each initiative, for which a specific team member was held accountable. More recently, the SBDC assisted the executive team at T.A.I.F. with writing a comprehensive business plan for the organization, as well as developing a set of core values under which all employees of the company would operate. The core values consist of six major principles including Never Compromise, Family, Responsive, Unmatched Quality, Safety, and Pursue Greatness. This was a necessary action in order for members of the company to create buy-in, support and focus across T.A.I.F.

T.A.I.F. has begun to show great improvements. From 2009 to 2010, the company increased sales by $116,000 which is admirable considering the economic environment and the amount of change taking place internally during the year. They have brought on several significant new accounts which will continue to increase revenue in the coming years. The weekly staff meetings have become institutionalized at the organization. It is quite evident that T.A.I.F. is on the right path and will enjoy tremendous success in the future.