Old Ragu Spaghetti Sauce Ad on Building in Tribeca

I don’t think it’s widely known that Ragu pasta sauce company was started by Italian immigrants. Assunta and Giovanni Cantisano immigrated from Potenza, Italy, to Rochester, NY, and began canning tomatoes for sauce. They started their company in 1937. At one time, the Cantisanos’s factory employed over 300 people. In the 1950s, Ralph Cantisano, the Cantisanos’s son, added the gondola to Ragu’s label. In 1969, they sold the name Ragu to Chesebrough-Pond’s. (Unilever owned Ragu for a long time, but Mizkan Group, a Japanese food manufacturer, bought Ragu and Bertolli in 2014 for $2.5 billion.) After the sale, the Cantisanos made pasta sauce under other names, including Francesco Rinaldi, which they purchased in 1981. An employee’s family bought their company in 2002, renaming it LiDestri Foods, and is a successful sauce maker today.

I read on Forgotten New York that there was an old Ragu spaghetti sauce sign painted on a building in Tribeca on 6th Avenue between White and Walker Streets. So I had to stop by and photograph it myself.



3 responses to “Old Ragu Spaghetti Sauce Ad on Building in Tribeca

  1. Very cool. Love historical gems relating to NY. Question for you on the topic of sauce: if you were going to buy sauce in a jar ( I know, blasphemy! But, still, if you were), what would be your go-to?

  2. huntfortheverybest

    Great question! I think the important thing to look for is the type of oil they use. Make sure it’s olive oil. I think Michael’s of Brooklyn makes a good sauce. I have been known to buy a bottle now and again…shhh! https://www.michaelsofbrooklyn.com/store/

  3. That’s rediculous! I have a bottle of Michael’s of Brooklyn I just purchased over the weekend sitting in my cupboard, I kid you not. I’ll give it a try at some point and hit you back with my thoughts. Thanks again!

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